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4 1 

ScKool Garden 


A$ regarded and 
Carried on iiv the 
Different Provinces 

Published by Authority of 

iMiivister of Agriculture 







Reprinted from 

Published by direction of 


Minister of Agriculture 




Publications Branch, 
Ottawa, February 15, 1916. 

To the Honourable 

The Minister of Agriculture, 


Ijhave the honour to submit for your approval Pamphlet No. 4 of this 
Branch, entitled "The School Garden As Regarded and Carried on in the 
Different Provinces". 

This pamphlet is a compilation of articles that have appeared in Volumes 
II and III of The Agricultural Gazette of Canada. 

The pamphlet constitutes, for the main part, symposiums on the more 
important phases of school gardening in which provincial officials responsible 
for rural science instruction in the various provinces took part. 

School gardening, which has come to be regarded as a potent factor in 
rural education, is a comparatively new enterprise in most of the provinces. 

For the information of teachers who direct school gardening work, or 
contemplate taking it up, I should recommend that this manuscript be 
printed and published. 

I have the honour to be, 

Your obedient servant, 


Editor and Chief. 



Letter of Transmittal 3 

List of Contents 5 

The Model School Garden 7 

Nova Scotia 7 

New Brunswick 9 

Quebec n 

Ontario 13 

Manitoba 15 

British Columbia 17 

Relationship of the School Garden to the Class Room 20 

Nova Scotia 20 

New Brunswick 21 

Manitoba 23 

British Columbia 25 

Care of School Gardens during the Summer Vacation 26 

Prince Edward Island 26 

New Brunswick 26 

Quebec 28 

Ontario 29 

Manitoba 30 

British Columbia 31 

Why School Gardens Fail 88 

Nova Scotia 33 

Quebec , 33 

Saskatchewan 34 

British Columbia '36 

The Propagation of Ornamental Plants Suitable for School Surroundings 38 

The School Garden Municipality 43 

Qu'Appelle, Saskatchewan 45 

Toronto, Ontario 4g 

Gardening Operations 50 

Nova Scotia 50 

Quebec 51 

Ontario 51 

Manitoba 52 

Saskatchewan 54 

South Weyburn 58 

Weyburn 59 

Alberta gO 

Edmonton City Schools 61 

Taber's Success 62 




THE ideal school garden can 
seldom, if ever, be realized. 
A more or less near approach 
to it, however, is often possible. 

The accompanying diagram sug- 
gests one of the many possibilities. 
A general diagram, however, must 
be modified to suit the size of the 
school grounds, the number of 
children, the ambition of the teacher, 
the slope of the ground, and the ex- 
posure of the ground relative to sun- 
light and prevailing winds. While 
drawing the diagram accompanying 
this article, I had in mind a school 
building facing south, with ample 
room at the back for a garden. In 
such • a case, the spruce hedge or 
mixed wildwood would serve to keep 
off the cold north winds. Some 
school grounds are bordered by 
natural wood lots. Where this is 
true, there is no need of planting a 

The diagram is drawn to the scale 
of 20 feet to the inch. The left 
border is about nine feet wide. The 
hedge of Japanese rose (Rosa rugosa) 
will require about four feet. In 
front of that can be planted about 
thirty rosebushes consisting of ten 
or twelve popular varieties. That 
will make one border a solid mass of 
rose bushes. 

These borders are to be permanent. 
Therefore, they are planted with 
shrubs and perennial flowers. The 
back border is an exception; for if 
it be planted with native shrubs, 
trees and ferns, the cultivated flowers 
will slowly be crowded out. For that 
reason, sweet peas and other tall 
annuals or biennials may be planted 
for a few, years until the wild border 
is established. 

In the front border, ornamental 
shrubs are placed every ten feet ; and 
perennial flowers occupy the space 
between and around them. The 
names of the shrubs are written 
parallel with the shorter diameter 
of the garden.jj 


I>iri>dor. Itural Science School. 

Blackberries and raspberries make 
a useful border for the remaining 

The garden proper should have 
flowers, vegetables, grains and small 
fruits. The diagram shows the dis- 
tribution of these. 

In planting the flowers, I would 
not make raised beds. Between one 
flower bed and the next, I would 
leave a path two feet wide. Thus, 
for early weeding and cultivation, 
the children can walk around every 
bed. When the plants are full- 
grown, the paths will be lost; but 


The School Garden 

at that time no one needs to walk 
among them. The flowers in the 
centre plots are sufficiently tall to be 
admired from the path that sur- 
rounds the whole flower garden. In 
fact, there are only four plots that 
do not border this path. 

In the vegetable garden, the rows 

between kohlrabi and turnips; and 
early peas and radish border the rows 
of tomatoes. This will illustrate 
what, is known as companion crop- 
ping. Successive cropping is illus- 
trated where cabbage or peas follow 
lettuce, endive follows spinach, or 
tomatoes follow radish. 


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are uniformly twenty inches apart. 
As cauliflower and brussels sprouts 
should Jiave more room than this, a 
row of radish comes between. These 
will be gathered before the other 
vegetables need the extra room. For 
the same reason, early beets come 

Furthermore, all members of the 
cabbage family are planted together. 
This will make more convenient the 
control of the cabbage worm. Extra 
rows of beans and peas will supply 
abundant material for demonstration 
in canning green vegetables. More- 

The Model School Garden 

over, some vegetables are introduced 
which are not in general cultivation 
on the home farm. Thus the school 
becomes the experimental station 
for novelties. 

More than two-thirds of the garden 
is planted with annuals. These come 
in one block, which will enable that 
part to be ploughed. 

Posssibly one should specify va- 
rieties of each vegetable and flower 
recommended. That has both its 
advantages and disadvantages. Some 
mechanical teacher, if she could not 
get the variety recommended would 
not plant any. It is better, I think, 
to get bulletins and reports from the 
Department of Agriculture, Ottawa, 
or from the Provincial Departments, 

and select from the varieties they 
have successfully tested. 

The size of the garden in the 
diagram is 100 feet by 80 feet. De- 
ducting borders and outer path, the 
permanent garden is 72 by 57. In 
a small school, this could be reduced, 
making every plot half size and every 
row half length. It would be better 
to reduce the size than to omit any 

Where this garden would exist 
year after year, the annual flowers 
would be varied. Crop rotation 
should be exercised. 

Out of the many possibilities, 
therefore, the diagram suggests one — 
not to be followed literally; but to 
be adapted to local conditions. 



SCHOOL properties are owned 
by the districts. They are 
under the control and care of 
trustees elected at the annual school 
meetings. They include school 
grounds, buildings erected thereon, 
furniture and apparatus for teaching. 
It is therefore of prime importance 
that, if a school garden is to be estab- 
lished, official recognition be ob- 
tained. Not only is mere censent 
needed but the co-operation and 
sympathy of trustees, and at least 
of some of the ratepayers are very 

The location of the garden is a 
point to be carefully considered. 

1. It should be on, or contiguous 
to, the school ground. According to 
law the school ground, especially in 
country districts, should be one acre 
in extent. Except in the case of large 
semi-rural schools this area will afford 
ample space for a school garden with- 
out unduly entrenching upon the 
play-ground portions. It is a fact that 
many of our school grounds are much 
smaller than they should be. They 
are often rough and rocky and in 

some cases badly drained. Where 
grounds are too small, more land 
should be purchased. Where they 
are unsuitable a near location, across 
the road, in full sight of the school 
and easy of access is imperative. 
The influence of the work upon the 
life of the school is weakened if the 
garden is far away or out of sight 
from the school house. Little or no 
time should be lost by pupils in going 
and coming between school house 
and garden. 

2. It should occupy a conspicuous 
position. It should therefore not be 
located at the rear of the school 
premises but front on the street 
which the house faces. The form of 
a narrow stiip along one side of the 
grounds is not desirable. It is also 
necessary that it be far enough re- 
moved from the play-ground portion 
of the premises not to be interfered 
with by the children at play. 

3 Another feature 1 o be considered 
in selecting a site is that the ground 
is well drained, or at least capable of 
drainage. This is quite as important 
as that it be not rocky or shallow. 


The School Garden 

After the location has been decided 
upon the next consideration is size. 
This depends upon the number of 
pupils usually attending the school. 
We do not think that any school 
garden, in crder that Trustees' and 
Teachers' grants be paid, should be 
smaller than 40 x 50 feet or 2,000 
square feet. Such an area for a school 
having 20 pupils with from 8 to 12 
of them in the upper grades should 
afford satisfactory space for good 
work. This area should increase as 
schools are larger until a half acre is 
reached. Only in the case of large 
schools should this be required. 

might be of the same width. Other 
walks if two feet wide will generally 
be found satisfactory. 

Plots from 1Yi to 4 feet wide and 
10 feet long according to the age of 
pupils working on them, will be 
found to give good results. 

For experimental plots in which 
the whole school may be interested 
8 x 10 feet has proven good. In the 
smaller plots named above individual 
pupils should have charge. Owner- 
ship gives responsibility and best 
permits of a purpose being worked 
out to a finish. No more than two 
pupils can well conduct one plot and 

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During the winter it will be found 
of advantage for each pupil under 
the direction and guidance of the 
teacher in the school room to draw 
to scale a plan of the garden from 
measurements made in the fall. This 
plan should show walks and plots. 
The principal walks should be from 
iy 2 to 3 feet wide. Except on the 
rear sides of the g rden where borders 
extending to the fence may be 
allowed, walks about the entire plot 
should ne 3 feet wide. One drawn 
ongitudinally through the centre 

in such cases an equal division should 
be made. 

While the plan is being made 
during the winter, talks will be con- 
ducted dealing with the kinds of 
seeds that will be planted and the 
proper relative places for each kind. 

Low growing flowers might well 
come in narrow plots at the front 
next to the street, and taller growing 
annuals and perennials on the -fence 
side farthest from the school house. 
On the rear side tall growing annuals 
such as sun flowers will look well. 

The Model School Garden 


Care is needed so that tall plants 
may not obstruct the growth of low 
growing ones, and also that the view 
from the street and from the school 
house may be the best. 

A loam soil will be found well 
adapted for level or nearly level 
cultivation. If surface of plots is 
much higher than the walks, should 
the season prove dry, the earth dries 
out more rapidly and the growth of 
plants is retarded. 

Where the soil is clayey, or where 
it has not been heretofore well 
drained, a liberal dressing of lime, 
in its natural condition if obtainable, 
will be found of advantage. In any 
case during the fall it is well to study 
the character of the soil of the garden 
and make tests for acidity, amount 
of humus, and water content. 

As soon as the ground is really fit 
to work in spring, cultivation should 
begin, followed by the lay out of the 
walks and plots. Stakes, four for 
each plot, and two or three good 
garden lines are essentials. These 
stakes should be one inch square, at 
least V/2 feet long and neatly 
sharpened. They should be driven 
into the ground at the corners of 
plots leaving about three inches 
showing above the surface The 
precision, accuracy and neatness 
exercised in this laying out work are 

of the utmost importance. Not only 
is the appearance of the garden 
greatly enhanced by attention to 
these details, as an educative process 
for the children they involve training 
in character. 

The foregoing plan represents 
merely a few suggestions for a plain 
garden that might easily be modified 
or extended to suit conditions of 
any locality. Much more elaborate 
designing may be desired by some. 
Such may recognize in this plan 
principles for application that may 
be useful. At least it presents in 
the concrete some of the ideas ex- 
pressed in this article. Originality 
and individuality are not to be re- 
pressed. Teacher and pupils work- 
ing together to secure a well planned 
garden adapted to local school 
ground facilities will in itself be an 
educative factor of no little impor- 

If the school ground is not enclosed, 
a neat woven wire fence with a fair 
sized gate is imperative for this 
garden. Although the road law may 
prohibit animals from running at 
large, a fine garden might be destroy- 
ed by a runaway or other unforeseen 
occurrence. If the school ground is 
fenced this should be all that is neces- 
sary. Provision should always be 
made for getting on the garden with 
a team to plough and harrow. 



HORTICULTURE and school 
gardening play an important 
part in the rural school and 
even in schools of small towns and 
cities, as it is just as important to 
develop a liking for agriculture 
among city children as among rural 
children. A great deal would be 
gained if, by teaching horticulture 
in model schools, normal schools and 
colleges, we could make the young 
men understand the usefulness of the 

farming occupation and thereby re- 
move this feeling of contempt which 
too many have for this profession. 

I am pleased to mention here the 
interest which the Laval University 
of Quebec takes in the agricultural 
movement. The university has 
just prepared a programme for the 
teaching of horticulture which will be 
followed by the great convents that 
are affiliated to the university. 

The Department of Agriculture is 


The School Garden 

fully aware of the importance of 
school gardens; they provide the 
easiest means for reaching all children ; 
this work is as pleasant as it is useful 
for the pupils; through them the 
schoolmaster, or the schoolmistress, 
are able to teach the best principles 
of farming and to demonstrate by 
object lessons, that success in agri- 
culture, as elsewhere, always de- 
pends on the amount of care and 
intelligence bestowed. 

There were practically no school 
gardens in the province some twelve 
years ago; the first were inaugur- 

kept, under a closer supervision from 
our district representatives and school 
inspectors. The latter have taken 
special courses at the Oka Agricul- 
tural Institute during the 1914 vaca- 
tion in order to learn the best methods 
of culture, and each one of them gave 
a series of lectures on the teaching 
of agriculture in the schools when 
visiting the schools. 

The area of the school gardens de- 
pends upon the amount of land be- 
longing to the school trustees and 
teachers. On an average they measure 
35 x 30 feet. A large number of 



ated by Mr. 0. E. Dalaire, Director 
of the St. Hyacinthe dairy school, 
who was entrusted with their man- 
agement up to the present time. 
His first reports to the department 
date back to 1906. There were, at 
that time, only twenty-eight school 
gardens in the province, distributed 
in eleven counties and cultivated by 
425 pupils; last year there were 284 
school gardens, distributed in 54 
counties and cultivated by 9,308 
children gardeners. Next summer 
will witness a large increase in this 
number. They will also be better 

domestic science schools, model 
schools, high schools (academies), 
colleges and convents have large gar- 
dens with a few bee-hives, and 
orchard, a poultry house and a 
school museum, etc. One may form 
an idea of our gardens by examining 
the one at the commercial college 
of the Sacred Heart, Ste. Anne de la 
Perade. Every year through the 
Department of Agriculture seed 
grain and chemical fertilizers are sent 
to the school teacher and prizes are 
awarded to the children gardeners. 

The Model School Garden 




TH ERE is a good deal of confu- 
sion and misunderstanding 
concerning the relationship 
between School Gardening, Nature 
Study and Elementary Agriculture. 
In order to make headway in the 
proper direction it is very necessary 
that teachers and school inspectors 
should be clear in their minds in re- 
gard to these terms. 


The word "school" in the expression 
"School Gardening" marks an im- 
portant and fundamental distinction ; 
it indicates that the chief purpose 
in bringing gardening into school 
work is education for the child. This 
should not be lost sight of. A garden 
at school may be quite a different 
thing from a school garden. It is 
not the location at school that makes 
it a school garden. A child's garden 
at home may be a real school garden 
and of the very best kind. A plant 
in a flower pot may be a child's gar- 
den. Caring for an apple tree may 
be school gardening. An experiment 
with field crops carried out by a high 
school pupil on his father's farm is 
school gardening. It is not location, 
nor size, nor crop, nor the age of the 
pupil that determines whether a gar- 
den is a school garden; it is the pur- 
pose. Primarily the aim is not to 
grow grains, flowers, or vegetables. 
The purpose is higher. It is to fur- 
nish incentives and provide a field 
for work that will be rich education- 
ally in recreative, instructional and 
character-forming experiences. 

To present the chief features of 
the ideal school garden aimed at for 
Ontario rural schools, I cannot do 
better than quote from some of the 
Agricultural Education Bulletins and 
circular 13 which set forth the plans 
of the Ontario Department of Edu- 
cation for instruction in Elementary 
Agriculture. It is needless to say 

that for towns and cities, such a 
garden would not be suitable. 


In the picture of the ideal one- 
teacher country school, one-half 
of the school grounds is represented 
as affording adequate playing room 
for the boys — baseball or football. 
At one side of the school house there 
is room for the older girls' tennis, 
croquet or basket ball. At one side of 
the front there are sand box, teeter 
and swing for the young children. At 
the corner of the school grounds near- 
est the corner of the roads the experi- 
mental plots are located . The flower 
beds, vines, boulevard and shrubs 
are set out and cared for as they 
might be at a well kept farm house. 
The teacher, pupils and community 
co-operate in making the school a 
home-like beauty spot for the neigh- 
bourhood. The playing facilities are 
for the young people too as well as 
for the pupils. 

It is not to be inferred that the 
one-teacher school is considered pre- 
ferable to the consolidated school 
which is much needed in many of 
the rural districts of Ontario. 


Form. — By many a proper school 
garden is considered to be a well ar- 
ranged series of little plots with a 
more or less uniform assortment of 
flowers and vegetables grown by the 
pupils in the different classes. Such 
an arrangement undoubtedly may 
provide a good school garden and 
especially for the first year's effort. 

Against such a plan, however, 
there are objections. It is not like 
an ordinary garden that may be found 
at the homes. It is not like a garden 
which the pupil will plan for himself 
when he grows up. It is difficult to 
lay out and manage. There is much 


The School Garden 

waste of ground in paths and these 
require a great deal of attention. 
It cannot be carried out unless there 
is a large or smaller open space in 
one plot. It does not appeal to 
practical farmers as being sensible. 
It is too narrow in its conception. 

Location.— The school garden 
should not be located in an out-of- 
the-way place on the school grounds. 
If possible, it should he at the front 
or side of the school house and 
within full view of passers-by on the 
road. If space cannot be taken 
from the school grounds for it, it 
may be carried on in nearby grounds, 
or in a neighbour's field . Good work 

suffice. This outfit will cost about 
$12. Grass shears, a sickle and 
a lawn mower will increase this 
amount by about $6. At odd 
times a few extra tools may have to 
be borrowed. 

The tools should be put under the 
charge of a tool officer or garden 
committee of the pupils. 

Uses of area specified for school 
garden. — The six square rods specified 
as the minimum area for the experi- 
mental plots in a school garden quali- 
fying for grants is exclusive of paths. 
It is suggested that as a" rule three 
square rods should be given to ex- 
periments or demonstrations on[field 


might be done in taking charge of the 
garden of some one living near the 
school as a loan, or on a rental basis. 

Equipment. — The amount of equip- 
ment for carrying on garden work at 
school is not specified. At some 
schools, all the work is carried on 
with tools brought from the pupils' 
homes. There are some advantages 
in this plan for the first year's effort. 

For an average school six rakes, 
six ho«e, one digging fork, one shovel, 
a pronged trowel, two watering cans, 
a wheel barrow, one mallet, a plenti- 
ful supply of garden lines and corner 
stakes, a hammer and saw will likely 

crops, and three square rods devoted 
to experiments or demonstrations 
on vegetables, plant propagation, 
etc. The interests of the locality, 
however, will be the best guide in 
selecting experiments, and in some 
cases it may be considered best to 
give all the space to field crops, or, 
on the other hand, to vegetables. 

The space devoted to flower- 
growing can hardly be specified, as 
it will be best to grow the flowers 
in beds or borders along the walks, 
around the experimental plots, or 
about the school house and fences. 
In a school of twenty-five pupils 

The Model School Garden 


however, an area equal to at least 
one square rod should be given to 
flowers. For the smaller pupils, in 
either home or school garden work, 
small plots containing easily grown 
flowers or vegetables or both may 
well be encouraged. For the older 
pupils there are advantages in having 
the work done under conditions sim- 
ilar to those they will meet in actual 

In the School Garden that should 
be aimed at for every Ontario school 
two features should be kept clearly 
in mind. 

First: The garden should contain 
from year to year a few well planted 
and well conducted experiments and 
demonstrations on fruits, vegetables, 
or field crops of interest and value 
to the whole neighbourhood. This 
part of the garden will constitute 
a small "experimental farm" for 
every school section, full of valuable 
lessons in agriculture. 

In it the older pupils of the school, 
while being trained to "do something 

in order that they may learn some- 
thing, " will be trained also toco-oper- 
ate for public service. The things 
they do will be for the benefit of all. 

Secondly: The garden, i.e., the 
school grounds, should contain neat 
grass plots, flower beds and borders 
for the purpose of training children 
to care for tidy surroundings, to grow 
flowers and also to make the school 
premises attractive as the local 
"beauty spot." 

The garden work should be planned 
to develop a consistent and progres- 
sive series of studies from year to 
year, and not allowed to become a 
matter of aimless repetition; pupils 
should advance into more difficult 
work just as they do in arithmetic or 
other school studies. The interests of 
the locality should be considered in 
selecting the work. Teachers should 
leave records of the work they have 
carried out for the guidance of their 
successors, and as a permanent his- 
tory of the teaching of agriculture 
in the school section. 



FOR more than a generation 
school gardens have been 
compulsory in many Euro- 
pean countries. They were intro- 
duced to give an impetus, an inspira- 
tion to improved scientific methods 
of horticulture and agriculture. The 
objects sought were largely economic, 
namely, the introduction of more 
profitable methods in the cultivation 
of grains, vegetables, fruit and 

In America, the school garden 
movement is rapidly gaining in 
popularity in the minds of all educa- 
tors. The objects here are similar 
to those in Europe, but we have an 
additional purpose of encouraging 
the bright, intelligent, ambitious 
boys to remain on the farm. The 
great rural school problem of Canada 

is: — "How shall we save the country 
boy from the allurements of the city 
and make him contented with life 
on the farm?" 

From the communion with Nature 
associated with the gardens, children 
will learn to love the forests, streams, 
hills and glades, and be content to 
live there, nav more, will long to 
return should circumstances compel 
them to leave. 

The children's gardens at school, 
properly kept, have been an inspira- 
tion for greater home improvement. 
No school activity will influence the 
home so effectively and permanently 
as that of school gardening. 


The nature and scope of gardening 
possible in a school will largely de- 


The School Garden 

pend upon conditions. In some 
schools, it may be difficult to go 
farther than indoor culture and 

The above lay-out and improve- 
ment should be made a possibility at 
every school in city, town or country. 
The ground should be large enough 
to admit of developing equally the 
aesthetic, mental, and physical nature 
of the child. The beautifying of the 
school grounds should receive first 
attention, especially as this appeals 
most readily to younger children. 
The fences and gates may require 
repair, the walk to be improved, the 
wood to be piled neatly, the ground 
to be levelled and cleaned off. 

etc., and there is no better means of 

Then follows the planting of this 
permanent material and its subse- 

Director of Agricultural Instruction 

Shelter belts of trees should be 
planted on the north and west sides; 
a row of shade trees on the south 
and east; clumps of shrubbery in the 
corners, along the front and around 
outhouses. Hedges should be set, 
climbers planted, and perennial roots 
established around the borders of 
the lawn. 

For the proper planting of all this 
permanent material, at least two 
years' thorough cultivation of the 
ground is necessary. While this 
ground is being prepared, it may be 
utilized* by the children in the grow- 
ing of potatoes, corn, carrots, beets, 








5ckoot Garden 

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1 Lawn 



quent care and cultivation, in which 
the children should always participate 
and perform all work of which they 
are capable. The borders, hedges 
and lawns will require a certain 
amount of care and cultivation con- 
tinually, but an opportunity should 
be given the individual pupils, and 
this can be done best in experimental 
plots at the rear of the grounds. 


The Model School Garden 



1. A desire on the part of the 
teacher to do something. 

2. A definite plan to follow towards 
a completed whole. 

3. Start at the beginning, the bot- 
tom, so that later developments 
may be possible and successful. 

4. Make each improvement a 
definite and permanent one, so that 
other teachers following may have 
Mimething upon which to continue 
the work. 

5. Keep the garden work at all 
times in as good condition as the 
best-kept note book of work inside. 

6. Before leaving for vacation, 
make certain that the garden will be 
properly cared for until school re- 


1. Do not attempt too much, but 
do well. 

2. Do not use too great variety 
in trees, shrubs, vegetables or flowers; 
use only varieties that are sure to 

3. Do not be discouraged over 
failures, learning to turn present 
failures into future successes will be 
of great educational value. 



' best ' school garden for every 
school, a 'best' school garden 
for every district and no doubt a'best' 
school garden for every teacher, but 
as yet few if any have seen it. So 
many factoi-s enter into the organiza- 
tion and use of school gardens that it 
would be an utter impossibility to 
include all in any one school garden. 
Some teachers have attempted to 
include everything that they have 
ever heard of, thought of, or read 
about in one school garden with the 
result that the very complexity of it 
made efficiency in management and 
use impossible. Such a garden must 
sooner or later become the cause of 
considerable worry on the part of 
both teachers and pupils, which too 
frequently ends in apathy and neglect 
on the part of the pupils, and dis- 
traction and discouragement on the 
part of the teacher. Some teachers 
who have not had any experience in 
school gardening and who have given 
it no serious consideration at any 
time may perchance have seen or 
even heard of a garden established 
by some other teacher. Forthwith 
she determines to have a school gar- 

den and acquaints her pupils with 
her decision. Now it is doubtless 
worth while simply to "have a school 
garden" just as it is worth while for 
people who read very little to have a 
library, but a garden in the school 
grounds is far from being the ideal 
in school gardening. 

We must shift the emphasis from 
the garden to the gardeners. Every- 
thing we undertake must have be- 
hind or beyond it a purpose. It 
must be done in the interests of the 
pupils and of the community. It 
will be the "best" school garden if it 
gives boys and girls a new interest in 
the things of nature which environ 
them, if it creates within them a de- 
sire to investigate in order to under- 
stand and appreciate that environ- 
ment, and, finally, if it increases their 
ability to control and to improve that 
part of nature with which they have 
to do. It will deserve the name of 
"best" if it leads boys and girls to 
take a greater interest in agriculture 
as practised in their own home 
districts and if, on the other hand, it 
leads parents to take a new interest 
in the work of the school. Finally, it 
will be the "best" garden for the 


The School Garden 

teacher to have if by means of it she 
becomes more thoroughly acquainted 
with her pupils individually, is able to 
enter into their lives with more 
earnest sympathy and able to utilize 
this new interest to the advantage 
of the rest of the work of the school. 
The use that is to be made of the 
garden in the teacher's scheme of 
education may be a determining 
factor with reference to size and 
location. If it is for the growing 
of flowers for decorative effect the 
garden may take the form of perenn- 
ial and annual flower borders or plots, 

Director Elementary Agricultural Education for 
British Columbia 

so placed in the grounds as to look 
best. This will not require a large 
area and might be established in any 
school ground however small. Such 
a scheme should be supplemented 
by' window boxes for the growing of 
flowers. In this kind of gardening 
the teacher and pupils should con- 
sider such points as grouping and 
mass effects, colour schemes, time 
and duration of flowering, height, 

flowering or foliage habit and design. 
If the work is chiefly experimental 
as regards varieties and methods of 
cultivation it is best to make use of 
simple rectangular plots and straight 
rows all arranged in a simple garden 
in a safe and convenient part of the 
grounds. These flower plots may be 
of two kinds — (1) individual plots 
and (2) community plots, the latter 
being four or five times as large as 
the foimer and operated by a group 
of children. Flower borders may 
also be operated as community plots 
in the school grounds. When the 
cultivation of vegetables is included 
as it should be in most school gar- 
dens, both individual and commun- 
ity ownership should be used. In- 
dividual plots for pupils in primary 
classes might be as small as 4 by 5 feet, 
or two pupils may be given a 5 by 8 
foot plot together, in which case 
they invariably divide it into two, 
each claiming his part. In arrang- 
ing plots for primary classes it is 
usually best to allow them to devote 
part of their plot to flowers and the 
rest to vegetables. All such com- 
bination plots should be grouped 
together in one section of the garden 
however. Flower plots look best 
when kept separate from the vege- 
table plots. 

Class plots should be larger and 
used for the growing of larger crops 
such as corn, peas, potatoes, toma- 
toes, cabbage, etc. From two to six 
pupils may own and operate a class 
plot. These plots should be from 
15 feet to 20 feet square. One rod 
square is sometimes desirable as it 
makes computation per acre very 
easy. These large plots may also be 
used as agricultural experimental 
plots, although all plots are in a sense 
experimental. It is not possible to 
include many such plots unless the 
area allotted to school gardening is 
fairly large. Of course community 
plots may be used in any grade and 
for either boys or girls whereas the 
large plots for agricultural experi- 
mentation are most suitable for 
boys of senior grade. 

The Model School Garden 


In fruit growing districts it is desir- 
able to have a small plantation of 
bush fruits. Fruit trees require so 
much room that they cannot be in- 
cluded in most school grounds in 
orchard arrangement, but it is de- 
sirable that a few trees be included in 
some part of the grounds outside 
the garden proper. 

A small area should be spared in 
every school garden for growing 
trees from seed. This little tree 
nursery may not be larger than 10 
feet square, but will serve to interest 
boys and girls in the great work of 

We have now alluded to most of 
the essentials both as to the purposes 
or educational value of the school 
garden and as to the make up of the 
garden itself. An important ques- 
tion still remains, viz., how many of 
those features already mentioned 
might reasonably be included in one 
garden? It is not possible to make 
a plan which would suit more than 
one set of conditions and say that 
even that was a "Model Garden." 
City schools and city grounds present 
many problems that do not arise in 
connection with country schools. 

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tree growing and transplanting. This 
small beginning may lead to a more 
intelligent interest on the part of 
the pupils in the science of Forestry, 
and in most cases the trees grown 
can be used to advantage for planting 
either in the school grounds or at 
the homes of the children. 

Herbaceous perennials should be 
grown in every school garden or in 
the school grounds for ornamental 
purposes. Vines, both annual and 
perennial, should also be grown in 
suitable places in the grounds for 
ornamentation or for screening out- 
buildings, ugly fences or rock piles. 

Graded schools will require gardens 
somewhat different from those of 
ungraded schools. Of the two, the 
latter usually presents the greater 
difficulty. The plan submitted is 
for an ungraded rural school of from 
30 to 40 pupils. The writer makes 
no claim that this is a "model" 
school garden even within the limits 
of the conditions stated but he has 
found everything suggested therein 
not only entirely practicable but also 
quite successful even according to 
those standards of success which 
were mentioned at the commence- 
ment of this article. 




THE school garden helps the 
class-room in, at least, two 
ways. First: it gives that 
healthful exercise so necessary to 
school children, at a time when they 
most need it. In this, too, it fur- 
nishes variety, and breaks the 
monotony of school life. 

But the second and most im- 

community welfare when he is 
taught not to walk in his pupil- 
neighbour's garden plot. 

The lessons on soil physics, in 
connection with conservation of 
moisture, make a tangible intro- 
duction to general physics in the 
class-room. Identification of weed- 
seedlings and garden seedlings is the 

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portant consideration, is that it 
vitalizes school work. The prin- 
ciples of mechanical drawing are 
mastered while drawing a plan of the 
garden to scale. Business methods 
are learned when buying the seeds; 
and, later in the year, when banking 
the profits. Many a boy gets his 
first lesson in good manners and 

first step toward field botany. The 
control of these leads at once to 
economic botany. 

What better arithmetic problems 
can be given than the boy's own 
problems to find how much seed or 
how much fertilizer his garden re- 
quires, when the tabulated amounts 
given are per acre? 


Relation of the School garden to the Class Room 


The insect pests furnish good 
lessons on entomology. The insecti- 
cides and fungicides form a natural 
basis for lessons in chemistry. The 
covering of plants to protect from 
late spring frosts introduces a phase 
of physical geography not often 
well taught. 

The written descriptions of garden 
operations furnish unlimited exer- 
cise in English composition. No 
drawing lessons could be more at- 

tractive than those based on the 
garden and its products; and no 
reading should be more suitable 
than some of the best garden com- 
positions written by the students. 

Commercial geography will, per- 
haps, be helped more than any one 

In the hands of the skilful teacher, 
the school garden is the connecting 
link between the school and the real 



THE school garden is an outdoor 
work-shop or laboratory to be 
made use of by the teacher 
in the process of general education 
of the pupils. In its construction 
and care are affiliated physical activi- 
ty, mental development and aesthe- 
tic training. Through the senses 
the mind is constantly receiving 
impressions which must stimulate 
observation, thought and judgment, 
and which wisely guided lead to 
intelligent expression and applica- 
tion. The succession of seasons, 
the adaptation of supply to need, 
the influence of climate, the relation 
between labour and providence, the 
dependence of animal life upon 
plants, and of these latter upon soil 
conditions, among the most import- 
ant of which is the presence of 
numberless, infinitesimal bacteria, 
all furnish problems most intricate 
and difficult, but adequate for mental 
culture. Moreover, the concrete 
consideration of such topics affords 
opportunity for moral and spiritual 
development since the wisdom of 
the beneficent Creator is traced in 
every manifestation of nature 
illustrated in the garden and its 
environment. Talks by the teacher 
in the school room about nature 
may exert an influence for good 
upon the young, but actual participa- 
tion with nature in the open air, 

where her laws are being exemplified, 
and her varying moods and 
phenomena are being observed, 
elevates all to be co-workers as it 
were with the Divine. Individual 
effort is directed, character is ex- 
alted and education is enriched by a 
fund of information obtained at 
first hand. Incidentally through 
such outdoor work also the school- 
room instruction is enlivened and 
enforced by illustrations pertinent 
because they appeal to conditions 
and actions with which the pupils 
are familiar. 

The school garden may be made 
to occupy an important place in the 
teaching of the usual schoolroom 
subjects. The purpose and object 
of education is the production of 
good citizenship. It is by what we 
are, and how we do what we engage 
in, that we prove our position in the 
nation. Example and practice estab- 
lish precept and theory. 

The first element of success to 
secure in any school is interest. 
This must be obtained through the 
natural unfolding of the child's 
powers. Children are interested in 
life, living things, which appeal to 
them through their senses. Through 
an interest thus secured we may 
awaken in the child a realization of 
need to know how to solve arith- 
metical questions, to use language 


The School Garden 

with clearness and accuracy, to 
properly spell words used, to be 
able to make correct drawings and 
to learn the geographical and his- 
torical features of his native place. 
The school garden furnishes the 
living objects which appeal to the 
child's interest. Through his con- 
tact with it many varieties of 
arithmetical problems arise, from 
those of the simplest fundamental 
nature to intricate questions of 
commercial transactions. How can 
one better learn the principles and 
applications of measurements than by 
actually making the measurements 
of land in the open? What better 
way to acquire the principles of 
bookkeeping than by actually keep- 
ing a set of books that represent the 
work of a season in a school garden 
or home plot? 

No better incentive to learn to 
draw can be afforded than for the 
child to realize his need of preserv- 
ing the impression made upon his 
mind by some object of nature. 
The object to be drawn must be 
something to him, or he will not 
recognize the value of committing 
to paper his idea of it. If that 
drawing inadequately represents 
his idea, at once he appreciates his 
need to give more careful attention 
to his teacher's instruction. Later, 
his ability to picture the varieties of 
form represented in the school 
garden will attest to the quality of 
the instruction he has received. 

The study of language must ever 
take up much time in the school. 
Ordinary methods of teaching are 
likely to lack interest because of 
being largely abstract. It is not the 
work or the arrangement of words 
that will attract the pupil's atten- 
tion unlet-s he realizes that his own 
effort, falls short of conveying to 
others the thought in his mind. 
Oral should precede written expres- 
sion. Jmpressions should be made 
on the mind before expression is 
attempted. Personal knowledge 
comes largely through observation 
and physical effort. We talk best, 

most naturally, about what we 
know, what we are interested in. 
Nature study exercises, through the 
school garden, supply the best 
avenues for personal knowledge 
through the child's observation. By 
using the child's language descrip- 
tive of what he is interested in, of 
what he knows, the teacher is able 
to demonstrate successfully the 
fundamental rules of composition 
and their application in his every 
day life. Illustrations taken from 
books may later serve to confirm 
decisions reached. It is, however, 
through the child's own language 
made use of as a basis for com- 
position lessons that the best results 
can be achieved. Language is a 
medium for conveying our thought 
to others. When it is studied with 
that practical view in sight, the 
value of such study takes on a new 

The monotony of indoor school 
exercises which have to do with 
mental training alone, may be re- 
lieved through the school garden 
lessons and activities participated in 
by both pupils and teacher. It is 
by the mingling of the active and 
the mental, by the outdoor and the 
indoor, that the best results are 
obtained at the least expenditure of 
time and nerve. 

The school garden furnishes a link 
between the school and the home in 
that it makes use of the home occu- 
pations for an educative purpose. 
The school premises indicate the 
high water mark of educational ap- 
preciation in the district. The school 
is ground common to all. Whatever 
succeeds in uniting the people in a 
common effort to improve will be 
found most beneficial. If the school 
grounds are dilapidated and ne- 
glected, the tone of the community 
may naturally be expected to be 
sluggish and downward in tendency. 
Many school grounds which, before 
a school garden was established, 
were unfenced are now neatly en- 
closed by woven wire. The school 
garden has contributed its part to 

Relation of the School Garden to the Class Room 


making the grounds attractive, and 
has thus demonstrated its value in 
the education of the community. 

The best country district is the one 
where the teacher unites with the 
pupils and the- parents in regular 
efforts from time to time to make a 
real centre of attraction and the 
school grounds a veritable local 
beauty spot. The school garden and 
nature study exercises in the open 
air are the complement of the indoor 
mental training. In reading, lan- 

guage, spelling, writing, arithmetic, 
history and geography they may by 
correlation and interweaving give 
energy and purpose to school life. 
Thus interest will develop as the 
child passes along through the grades, 
and thus, too, he may be encouraged 
to remain longer at school securing a 
broader, more cultural education and 
more practical withal, because it is 
being obtained in terms of his daily 
life and environment. 



THE permanency of any nation 
will depend upon the extent 
of happy, prosperous, perma- 
nent homes that are developed 
within its borders, and the purpose 
of each and every subject taught 
within the public schools should be 
to produce such. 

It is because of its peculiar fitness 
for such a purpose that school 
gardening is considered of such im- 
portance in the mind of the real, 
live, up-to-date teacher. 

Some teachers, judging from what 
they attempt in this work, still con- 
tinue to consider that school garden- 
ing is an additional subject to be 
carried on during the spring months, 
when work inside becomes rather 
irksome, even distasteful. Such 
teachers are merely playing with the 

All school subjects should be 
educational and such the garden 
should be made. The school garden 
should have at least two great 
values, either of which will justify 
its continuance; these are: (1) 
Esthetic. (2) Economic. 

1. The aesthetic value School 
gardening should aim at creating an 
interest in home beautifying, the 
principles underlying such, the best 
materials to use, the methods of 
planting and caring for such material. 

2. The economic value- In the 
school garden an interest in and a 
desire should be created for, experi- 
menting with various shrubs, flowers, 
vegetables and grains. Through 
these experiments the pupils learn 
in a practical manner the principles 
of scientific horticulture and agri- 


The children's plots at school 
must necessarily be small, but, even 
so, they may produce the above 
results. They will fail in their true 
purpose if their counterpart on a 
larger scale is not carried on by the 
children in their homes. 

Most teachers in Manitoba follow 
up the school gardening with compe- 
titions in home gardening, and these 


The School Garden 

gardens are regularly visited, in- 
spected and valued throughout the 

Some teachers in 1914 required 
their pupils at home to establish plots 
in (1) Alfalfa, for fodder and for 
seed; (2) Three year seed selection, 
wheat, oats and barley; (3) A three 
year crop rotation. 

In 1915 several hundred boys were 
formed into clubs to compete in the 
growing of "husking corn" in each 
inspectorate, and finally in a pro- 
vincial competition. 

The home gardens are of consider- 
able value to the interested teacher. 
They furnish a splendid opportunity 
for visiting the homes socially, and 
reaching the parents as no other 
excuse would do so successfully. 
They provide the teacher a means of 
impressing facts taught at school, 
correcting errors, suggesting im- 
provements, instilling higher ideals 
of taste, encouraging original and 
independent experiments. 

The teacher that does not follow 
up gardens at school with those at 
home, fails to realize the purpose of 
the work and loses more than half 
the real pleasure and profit derived 
from it. 


The school garden furnishes the 
concrete material for the following: — 

Arithemtic: — Number of plots in a 
certain area, allowing for walks; 
number of ounces of seed for each 
plot at a certain rate per acre; yield 
per acre based upon the number of 
pounds per plot. 

Elementary Geometry:— Planning 

the plots in various sizes and shapes 
on paper and drawing to a scale. 

Drawing and Colourwork: — Con- 
crete specimens are readily obtainable 
at most seasons of the year. 

Composition: — Excellent practice 
may be obtained in writing descrip- 
tions and keeping records. 

Farm Bookkeeping: — Children 
may keep records of various expendi- 
tures and receipts in connection with 
their plots and hence learn the 
principles of keeping crop records, 
stock records, etc. 

Literature: — Interesting supple- 
mentary reading may be obtained 
in bulletins, farm journals, etc. 

Geography: — Maps of the gardens 
are made, of the school ground, the 
village, township, county and prov- 
ince. Study of the industries and 
products of our own locality increases 
the interest in the study of such for 
other countries. 

Manual Training :^The making of 
window-boxes, hot-beds, flats, pegs, 
markers, etc., greatly increases the 
interest in the use of the common 

Botany: — Abundant material may 
be had during the spring and 
autumn, and also during the winter, 
by gathering and preserving such as 
will be required. 

General Nature Study: — Concrete 
specimens may be had for the study 
of plants, birds, insects, wild animals, 
etc., and all in their relation to 

Elementary Physics: — Valuable les- 
sons may be learned in mechanics, 
heat ,light, moisture, each in relation 
to the practical affairs of life. 

Relation of the School Garden to the Class Room 25 



SOME one has called the school 
garden the out-of-doors labo- 
ratory of the school, by which 
we would understand that it is a 
place for doing experimental work, 
making observations and recording 
results. Gardening is to the boys 
and girls of public school age largely 
experimental, and this is one of the 
reasons why they are so much 
interested in it ; moreover, the knowl- 
edge gained in this way, at first hand 
and as the result of the pupils' work 
and observation, seems to be so 
much more real to them than that 
which they gain from reading and 
class room interpretation, which too 
often is the teacher's interpretation 
for the credulous pupils. But we 
would do well to keep in mind that 
it is not so much the facts acquired 
by the child, whether by his own 
discovery or from reading, that are 
important but rather the relation- 
ship of facts, that is, interpretation. 
This latter and more important 
process of interpretation is the re- 
sult of reflection following on ob- 
servation. The class room is the 
best place for the completion of 
garden lessons. The teacher directs 
the processes leading to such under- 
standing by recalling the observa- 
tions made by the different pupils 
in the class (oral language work for 
the pupils), and by good questioning 
stimulating reflection, thus leading 
the pupils to arrive at their own 
conclusions, or else revealing to them 
the need of making further observa- 
tion. These class room conversa- 
tions or discussions (I hesitate to 
use the term "lessons" because of 
certain unhallowed memories which 
the term recalls), are or can be made 
as interesting to the class as were 
their previous observations in the 
garden. There is a lot of truth in 
the remark made by some one who 

understood children and who also 
understood teaching, to the effect 
that "a child delights in the 
discovery of a new relationship 
as much as in the discovery of a new 
object." The class room then is the 
place where the "adjourned business 
meeting" is held, where the reports 
of committees of investigation are 
presented, accepted, amended in 
committee of the whole or rejected, 
conclusions arrived at and resolu- 
tions finally passed. 

Then again the class room discus- 
sion of plans and possibilities helps 
to give the pupils a purpose and point 
of view which aids them "to get 
somewhere" in the work which they 
decide to undertake. It affords the 
introduction and perchance the invo- 
cation as it also pronounces the bene- 
diction on the part performed in the 

Space will not permit of even 
the briefest consideration of how 
other school subjects, such as read- 
ing, spelling, composition, nature 
study, geography, arithmetic, draw- 
ing and all the rest, can with great 
advantage be con-elated with school 
gardening. The garden and ex- 
periences in it become the great 
centre of reality for the child. These 
various subjects merely result from 
the different types of reaction and 
expression of the child mind. Herein 
these formal subjects find a place and 
application . They are as the " tools ' ' 
that the child has to learn to use in 
fashioning the "raw materials" 
which he daily and hourly acquires 
through experience or sense percep- 
tion, and each would be useless with- 
out the other. The garden stands 
for child experience and the class 
room has stood too much for "sub- 
jects" and formal discipline. Let 
us bring them together. 




IN Prince Edward Island we do 
not anticipate very much 
trouble in providing for the 
care of school gardens during the 
summer vacation. In our rural 
schools the summer vacation is com- 
paratively short. These schools will 
close June 30th and re-open August 
9th. Teachers who start school gar- 
dens will be held responsible for their 
care. If the teacher is not prepared 
to assume the responsibility of mak- 
ing such arrangements as will provide 
for the care of the garden during 
July and the first few days in August 
she is advised not to start a garden 
at all. It is felt that, if the school 
garden has been properly conducted, 
interest among pupils and parents 
will be sufficiently great to make such 

arrangements easily possible. The 
teacher is paid a bonus for a well- 
kept school garden properly used in 
the instruction of the pupils, but the 
bonus is not payable till August, 
when the Inspector's final report on 
the condition of the garden is re- 
ceived. We have ten inspectors or 
one for every group of 48 schools. 
We expect this summer to have about 
one hundred school gardens in oper- 
ation or about ten to each inspector. 
During the summer vacation each 
inspector will visit all the gardens 
in his inspectorate, and will see that 
the arrangements for their care, pre- 
viously made by the teacher, are 
being carried out, or should the need 
arise will make such other arrange- 
ments as to him may seem necessary. 



THE school garden represents in 
a large degree the attitude of 
the school toward outdoor 
instruction and community life prob- 
lems. It is also the visible expression 
of the estimation of the people of the 
district of the value of education to 
increase productive industry. It 
stands for that side of education that 
dignifies manual labour under the 
direction of trained intelligence and a 
knowledge of scientific principles. 
It indicates that the people realize 
that there is a clear relationship 
between the instruction the schools 
afford and the improvement and 
development of local conditions, 

between what the children do at 
school and what they do in after life 
f oi the social and economic prosperity 
of the community. 

The school property is the only 
possession in which every resident 
of the district has a part. If it be of 
value every resident therefore should 
have an interest in its upkeep. In 
concrete form its appearance and 
condition voice public opinion. The 
school premises should be the pride 
of the community, a place where 
residents will be sure to take visiting 
friends. Where this is the case, there 
will be no two opinions about school 
ground conditions, their influence in 


Care of School Gardens During Summer Vacation 


the neighbourhood, or the people's 
appreciation of the sort of education 
that makes the inhabitants pros- 
perous, contented and happy. 


School grounds containing a well 
kept school garden will always be 
found more attractive, and, in all 
cases, other things being equal, such 
schools give better value to the com- 
munity, a better education to the 
children, who have greater interest in 
their work. 

That during the summer vacation 
the school property should have a 
dilapidated, forsaken appearance is 
no credit to any community. It 
tends to make the young people lose 
interest in their surroundings. At 
a time when all nature is looking 
best, neglect and disorder at the 
spot that stands for local intelligence 
cannot but give a downward incline 
to thought and action among the 
younger portion of the population. 

The idea is, therefore, that the 
school grounds should be a point 
around which the thought and effort 
of all residents should centre, and 
that here, during the school vacation, 
from time to time on Saturday 
afternoons, or other convenient time, 
for social enjoyment, for community 
improvement, the people should 
assemble with the pupils of the 
school. On the principle that 
"many hands make light work," a 
short time would suffice to put the 
garden and the entire school ground 
in good shape, mow the lawn, clean 
the walks and destroy weeds about 
the fence. The remainder of the 
time would be given to games and 
contests and social intercourse. 

In many of our country sections to 
their great advantage Women's In- 
stitutes flourish. I feel sure the 
members in their districts would 
heartily co-operate in efforts of this 
character. Among the many parts 

the evening repast would be not the 
least entertaining. The ladies 
would gladly assume charge of such 
work. To assemble at four o'clock, 
spend the first hour and a half in 
labour, have the evening meal and 
spend remaining time until eight 
o'clock in games, might be the pro- 
gramme. Children, young people 
and heads of families all could 
participate with individual pleasure 
and profit. 

Such a course of action would 
cause that the school garden need not 
be handed over to a paid caretaker, 
it would be a community investment 
for instruction and general improve- 
ment and pleasure. Public senti- 
ment would be behind it. No one 
would be the poorer, in fact life in 
such a place would be worth more. 


The more the pupil can be en- 
couraged to keep in personal con- 
tact during vacation with his school 
garden plot, the more the people, 
parents, ratepayers and young 
people, can be induced to co-operate, 
the stronger the influence that will 
be exerted on the youth to magnify 
community life. People whose com- 
munity life has been happy, bright 
and attractive in youth, and who 
have learned the secret of getting 
intellectual and moral values through 
their physical and social activities, 
will never in maturity lose the at- 
tachment to that locality or interest 
in its pursuits. 

This is a direct call to teachers 
and pupils, to school trustees, to 
ratepayers in school meeting as- 
sembled, to unite to make the 
school a paying investment for the 
community. The time needed will 
bring its own reward. Four hours 
spent out of every two weeks during 
July and August, as indicated in the 
foregoing, will pay the best interest 
in uplifting life in rural communities. 


The School Garden 



THE care and maintenance of 
the school gardens in the 
province of Quebec do not 
give much trouble, particularly in 
the educational institutions which 
are managed by brothers or nuns. 
When the school year is over, that is, 
towards the end of June, the teacher 
who has supervision of the school 
garden, calls the pupils together and 
gives them the necessary instructions. 
The children must attend to the gar- 
den during the summer vacation at 
regular hours appointed by the 
school authorities. For instance, once 
or twice during the week, they visit 
their garden, accompanied by a 
guardian. They bring their tools, 
or use the tools belonging to the 
schools, when the trustees are 
thoughtful enough to buy same for 
the pupils. 

Then the scholars spend an hour 
or two in the school garden, hoeing, 
cultivating, watering, etc. Some of 
them transplant vegetables and 
shrubs, others prune tomato plants 
or fruit bushes that have been given 
to their care by the teacher. All of 
them fight the insect pests and weeds. 
When their work is done, the children 
are called together by the teacher, 
and they make a record of their work 
and observations in an agricultural 
copy-book prepared for their special 
use, entitled, "Diary of My Garden." 
In small schools, which are far 
away from the village, it is difficult 
to have the children meet once or 
twice a week, as some of them live 
a mile or two from the school. Very 

often, too, the teacher leaves the 
school to spend the vacation with 
her family. In this case the children 
harvest their products at the end of 
the school year. These products con- 
sist of early vegetables, such as 
radishes, carrots and lettuce. They 
are not very big, but they are the 
result of their work. 

However, in some places the teach- 
ers spend the summer in the school, 
or in the neighbourhood of the school. 
Then, an excursion to the garden by 
the pupils can be easily arranged. 
But the teacher must appoint 
the hour and the day and she must 
accompany the pupils herself at each 

Lastly, although the teacher may 
have to leave the school for some 
reason during the vacation, she can 
arrange for the garden to be cared 
for, by organizing in June, with the 
help of the pupils and of the board of 
trustees, a club of children-gar- 

One of the school trustees is .re- 
quested by the teacher to act as 
patron of the club. He accompanies 
the children to the school once a 
week, at an hour appointed by an 
executive committee of the pupils 
and approved by him. This method 
is practical when the school is near 
an inhabited house, the occupants 
of which agree to watch over the 
garden and prevent strangers from 
trespassing. It is better, however, 
in the interest of pupils, to appoint 
a farmer as patron of the club. 

Care of School Gardens During Summer Vacation 




Harm Resulting from Ne- 
glected Gardens. — For 
Ontario school gardens at 
rural and village schools, it is urged 
that their summer holiday care be one 
of the very first considerations. In 
planning for the garden, teachers and 
trustees are warned not to make a 
commencement unless they are cer- 
tain that the garden will not be 
neglected. Teachers who expect to 
be leaving their school at the end of 
June are advised not to commence a 
garden unless they are sure that 
sentiment and organization in the 
community will carry it through 
successfully. Where a garden has 
been carried on in previous years, and 
cannot be expected to continue 
successfully, it is advised that the 
ground be put into good shape and 
seeded down. Neglected school 
gardens are a menace to the cause of 
agricultural education. They retard 
real progress. It is better not to 
commence a garden at all in most 
cases than to demonstrate only a 
failure. One year's failure will 
ordinarily be more convincing of the 
uselessness of school gardening as an 
educational enterprise than several 
years of successful gardening will be 
convincing of their usefulness. 

Plan a Year Ahead.— Where a 
garden is to be undertaken for the 
first time the plans for its prepara- 
tion and care should be made before 
autumn passes. The best security 
for good care will be to arouse com- 
munity interest in the garden. The 
people must be made to understand 
what the garden stands for in terms 
of education of their children as well 
as in terms of community "getting- 
together." The garden must be 
made their garden; it should not be 

merely the teacher's garden in which 
they acquiesce for the sake of keep- 
ing peace. The people should as far 
as possible plan it themselves. They 
should be represented personally in 
the garden experiments and demon- 
strations. The trustees should have 
a "trustees' experiment." The local 
branch of the Women's Institute 
should be represented in some part 
of the flower growing that is to be 
done to beautify the school. Some 
of the ex-pupils should be enlisted 
for some of the work. In fact an 
ideal school garden will be for the 
education in agriculture of the whole 
community, and, more than that, 
it should be a training ground for the 
development of the "co-operative 
spirit," in which lies the best hopes 
for our needed rural reconstruction. 

A Community's School Garden- 
ing. — -With the foundation securely 
laid in the general unselfish, active 
interest of the people of the com- 
munity, plans for the summer care 
of the garden can give little anxiety. 
It is only a matter of good organiz- 
ing. Everybody will be helping. 
The trustees will do their share. 
The mothers' committee will do 
their share. The ex-pupils will be 
strong supporters and protectors. 
The School Progress club will over- 
see the pupils' work. The school will 
be alive and a thing of beauty all 
summer, even if the teacher cannot 
be on hand to join in the many good 
times her people have had at their 
school. When she comes back, she 
will find that her community still 
holds together round the school 
garden. A simple little school fair 
in September will be the fitting 
climax to the community-building 
and agricultural-education enterprise. 


The School Garden 



*"T^HE proper care of the school 
garden during the summer 
vacation is a real problem 
and one that gives many teachers 
considerable worry. Some teachers 
report that during the holidays the 
weeds were allowed to grow to such 
an extent that the trustees took the 
mower and cut down everything that 
came in the way. It was easier to 
drive the mower than to use the hoe 
for an hour or two. Other teachers 
report that the gates were opened — 
or the fence broken down — and stock 
was deliberately driven in to eat 
down anything and everything that 
came in its way. 

Several teachers report that vege- 
tables and even grains were stolen 
from the school plots, previous to 
being harvested, by grown-ups not 
connected with the school. Such 
conditions are certainly very dis- 
couraging to an energetic teacher 
and interested pupils. However, if 
the garden be properly prepared, 
planted, weeded, thinned and culti- 
vated until vacation begins, it will 
have taught many valuable lessons; 
and the conscientious teacher should 
not be discouraged even if the work 
ends there. 

Still, gardening is a whole summer's 
work and should be made of educa- 
tional value until the various crops 
are harvested, reckoned up, disposed 
of, the profits calculated and reports 
made thereon. To accomplish its 
best results the school garden should 
be kept in proper condition during 
the vacation until harvest time, and 
hundreds of school gardens through- 
out Manitoba were kept in such con- 
dition during the year. 


"Where there is a will there is a 
way." The wise and thoughtful 
teacher who has a desire to preserve 
the good appearance of .a school 
garden will surely find a "way." 

Some teachers, it is hoped they 
are few, intend leaving the school, 
or hope to be able to leave, at vaca- 
tion, and thus take very little interest 
in the garden and create less interest 
in the minds of the children. How- 
ever, the faithful teacher richly de- 
serves her vacation and should be 
freed from any worry regarding the 
dangers that may befall the garden 
plots during her absence. 

The garden should be considered 
by children and parents an important 
part of the educational plant — the 
outside laboratory. The plots are 
the property of the children, who 
should be taught to assume the re- 
sponsibility for their care and pre- 

The degree of interest created in 
the children by the teacher will deter- 
mine the amount of care given the 
plots during vacation. Agriculture 
and horticulture should be taught 
systematically throughout the entire 
year, but special discussions regard- 
ing the school garden should be held 
during March and April. By the first 
of May everything should be in 
readiness for the children to put into 
execution the plans of the preceding 
months. After the somewhat tire- 
some work of preparing the soil and 
carefully planting the seed, the real 
interest should begin as the various 
plants in turn begin to make their 
appearance. Very soon each morn- 
ing's observations will create a fresh 
interest in the garden; at every turn 
the young gardener will experience a 
new thrill of inspiration. 

All work should be done in due 
season, so that at vacation time the 
plants will be well advanced, entirely 
free from weeds, thinned out when 
necessary and properly cultivated. 
An interest may thus be created that, 
if only directed wisely, will remain 
in the minds of most pupils, who will 
solve the "weed problem" during 

Care of School Gardens During Summer Vacation 



Many children regularly visit their 
plots during the vacation and keep 
them in condition. Some are driven 
by their parents, who also become 
interested, and at their regular visits 
to the village store, or post office, 
make trips to the school plots as well. 

Trustees of many schools meet on 
Saturday afternoons and round up 
the village children to accompany 
them to the school grounds and per- 
form the necessary weeding, etc. 
The children's plots (of many of 
these schools), furnish sufficient 
flowers for the Sunday services 
throughout the summer. 

A janitor of a village school, who 
is generally hired by the year and 
employs his time during vacation in 
cleaning and repairing the school, 
should be interested in the grounds 
as well and act as a leader of the 
children. In some schools, commit- 
tees are appointed for each week of 
the vacation and each committee, 
in turn, is held responsible. This 
plan works well in town schools 

where many children go camping for 
part of the time. 

A municipal system of government 
may be profitably organized in con- 
nection with the school plot, with a 
reeve, alderman, road-inspector, 
weed-inspector, etc. 


Competitions and exhibitions, both 
in rural localities and in towns, have 
worked wonders in creating interest 
in improved agriculture and horti- 
culture. They should be of equal, or 
greater, stimulus to children ; in fact 
a little money will extend much 
farther, and produce more marked 
results, when spent on children than 
on their parents. 

Such competitions in school and 
home garden work have solved the 
"weed problem" in hundreds of dis- 
tricts. The plots are judged at the 
end of June, again at the end of 
August, and in addition to the marks 
obtained at these judgings, competi- 
tors must exhibit at the school fair 
the best that the plots produce. 



THERE are those who regard 
the care and management of 
the school garden during the 
summer holidays so difficult as to 
make school gardening a rather 
doubtful undertaking. It will 
usually be found that such people 
take a similar view of any new move- 
ment which presents difficulties. 
They are not lazy people either, but 
merely given to " f earf ulness " and 
needless apprehension. Anyone who 
has had experience in the organiza- 
tion and management of school 
gardens knows that the vacation 
problem does offer difficulties, and 
also knows that there are numerous 
ways of solving those difficulties. 
Probably no two teachers will 

solve these difficulties in exactly the 
same way, but almost any method 
adopted will have some bearing on 
the question of the child's respon- 
sibility for the care of the garden 
during the summer holiday season. 
Some have advocated the placing of 
all responsibility upon the pupils, 
whilst others have gone to the other 
extreme and have relieved the pupils 
of all responsibility. Neither is de- 
sirable, and as is frequently the case 
the middle course will be found best 
in actual practice. We would all 
like to think that the pupils who take 
part in the work would maintain 
sufficient interest in it throughout 
the season not to permit their garden 
plots to become unsightly through 


The School Garden 

lack of care and cultivation, but, 
unfortunately, many children are 
not able to give personal attention 
to their plots, and through no fault 
of their own. Some teachers have 
made absolute responsibility for 
summer care the chief condition on 
which the pupils might participate in 
school gardening. This usually ends 
in "breach of contract" for a large 
percentage of those taking part, 
and also places the work on a purely 
voluntary basis. Many of the most 
interested pupils, and certainly many 
of the most conscientious, are, by 
this means, debarred from taking 
part in school gardening, and it can- 
not be made the useful instrument in 
education that it should be, unless 
all the members of a class take part 
in it. On the other hand, no person 
will say that the pupils who make no 
provision for the proper care of their 
gardens during the holidays are en- 
titled to the same credit in this 
subject for the year as those who give 
their gardens attention weekly. Some 
system of merit marks may be used 
with good effect and these should be 
based upon the following points: 
(1) Conditions of the garden on the 
closing of school in June; (2) Num- 
ber of hours devoted to the care of 
the gardens during the holidays; 
(3) Quality of the work done; (4) 
The garden diary or weekly garden 
report for July and August. This 
diary will contain a record of observa- 
tions made in the garden from week 
to week as well as of the work done. 
Special credits may be given for 
drawings made from Nature to 
illustrate the garden report. To 
carry out this plan successfully, it 
will be necessary at the closing of 
school in June to make two definite 
appointments. (1) A garden day 
(or half day) to be observed by the 
pupils weekly during the months of 
July and August; (2) A garden 

manager or supervisor who will be in 
attendance at the garden on that 
day each week in succession. The 
school garden supervisor should be 
appointed by the School Board and 
should be a person who is not only 
entirely in sympathy with the work, 
but also conversant with the 
teacher's method of conducting it. 
For this reason the Board should 
consult with the teacher before 
making such appointment. The 
amount to be paid to such super- 
visor will depend upon the size of 
the garden and the number of pupils 
taking part in the work. It should 
not exceed $3 per week and might be 
as low as $1 per week. In a small 
garden, three hours weekly, pre- 
ferably in the morning, will be quite 
sufficient to keep the garden in good 
condition. In larger gardens eight 
hours per week might be found 
necessary. One hour per week is 
usually sufficient for each pupil to 
spend in actual garden work. The 
writer has employed for this purpose 
both men and boys, and recom- 
mends a competent boy who has 
had experience in gardening. There 
is no reason why a young woman 
should not be appointed in some 
cases where the garden is not a 
laige one. The supervisor registers 
the attendance of the pupils who 
come from week to week on garden- 
ing day and reports on the work 
done in each plot by number. He 
is put in charge of the school tools 
and is authorized to direct the pupils 
in the work which they are to do for 
the day. His consent must be ob- 
tained by pupils before removing 
flowers or vegetables from their 
plots during the summer. He will 
have charge of watering the garden 
when it is found necessary to do so 
and he will do the necessary work 
on the plots of absent pupils and 
record the same. 




SCHOOL gardens, I think, fail 
(1) Because the teacher lacks 
enthusiasm and the power of 
leadership with the pupils. 

(2) Because she is not well- 
balanced; and lacks persuasive 
powers and leadership with trustees 
and parents. 

(3) Because teachers in various 
departments of the same school fail 
to co-operate. 

(4) The teacher's ignorance of 
gardening causes the children to 
lose confidence in her. 

(5) The school grounds are often 
unsuitable, either on account of 
condition or in size. 

(6) Loafers on the school grounds 
after school hours often do damage. 
Making the school ground a thor- 
oughfare also causes trouble. 

(7) Too much is attempted. 

(8) The frequent change of 

(9) "Who will do the work" 
is a puzzling question. Frequently 
the matter of ploughing is left to the 
voluntary efforts of some good- 
natured man instead of having the 
work done in a business-like way at 
the section's expense. 

(10) Lack of care in summer 
vacation is, perhaps, the greatest 

(11) Procrastination is fatal. 
Ploughing, ordering seeds, and mak- 
ing plans are often left until plant ng 
time. Hurriedly and poorly pre- 
pared ground will never result in a 
good garden. 



THE importance and utility of 
the school garden are fairly 
well understood by the school 
teachers of our province; however, 
too many promising school gardens, 
which were well started, have been 
neglected and abandoned later on. 

This is much to be regretted. 
What are the causes of such failures? 
In our opinion the causes hampering 
the school garden movement are the 
following: — 

A. The object of the school garden is 
not sufficiently understood. 

The teacher should know clearly 
the "why" and the "how" of the 
school garden if he or she wants to 

achieve success. All teachers who 
desire to establish a school garden 
should first write to the Department 
of Agriculture for guidance and 
advice. The teacher must keep n- 
formed, if he wants this work to be 
really profitable to the pupils. The 
Department of Agriculture has for 
distribution a number of pamphlets 
and circulars on the establishment 
and care of the school garden. 

B. There is a lack of understanding 
and co-operation between school 
trustees and teachers. 

It is a fact that the teacher works 
alone. The school trustees do not 
understand that they can do a great 



The School Garden 

deal to help her. However, it is 
absolutely necessary that there 
should be good understanding be- 
tween the two, otherwise the garden 
will not be successful. This is a 
weak point to which my attention 
has been particularly called this year 
during my visit to the school gardens. 
The school board should not forget 
that it has been established specially 
to supervise the teaching of the 
children of the parish, and to make 
sure that this teaching is given in 
accordance with the programme. 
Therefore, the teacher who desires to 
establish and maintain a school 
garden in her school should be sup- 
ported and helped by the school 

C. Land poorly prepared. 

In some schools the garden is 
abandoned after the first year; this 
is particularly the case of a good 
many gardens which were not well 
enough prepared. It is impossible 
to secure products of good quality on 
land that has not been sufficiently 
worked and that has not received a 
sufficient quantity of manure. The 
land should be ploughed and harrow- 
ed; it should receive an application of 
farmyard manure and wood ashes. 
Chemical fertilizers may also be 
applied as a supplement to farmyard 

D. Some school gardens are too 

Many, teachers have lost heart 
because they undertook too much 
at first. I have seen school 
gardens 90 by 50 feet for schools 
which had only about fifteen pupils. 
The following year, the majority of 
these schools had given up their 
garden. When I would ask the 
reason for this, the teachers would 
invariably answer " Too much work." 
These teachers had made a mistake 
from the start. Let us always 
remember this principle: — The school 
garden must be proportionate to the 
school, to the number of the pupils 
and to the spare time of the teacher. 

E. The teachers change schools too 

Each year a large number of 
teachers leave school to work for 
another school board. In such cases 
too often the school garden is 
abandoned, as a new teacher is not 
always up in agricultural school 
work or does not care; this is to be 
regretted, and school trustees would 
help the movement very much by 
employing only qualified school 
teachers who would remain a long 
time in their school. From an educa- 
tional point of view, the children 
would be the first to benefit by this 



DURING 1914 there was a 
marked increase in the num- 
ber of school districts under- 
taking School Garden work. Much 
of this work has demonstrated its 
educational value and has been duly 
accorded its share of praise. Un- 
fortunately, however, the results 
have not always been successful; 
in fact, teachers and pupils have had 
bitter disappointments and many 
discouragements. While some have 
had to admit defeat, one hesitates 

to pronounce their work a failure, 
for often out of apparent defeat 
comes glorious victory; in many 
cases the work of 1915 has deter- 
mined whether the experience was a 
success. There are so many op- 
portunities for direct interest and 
inspiration, as well as for indirect 
influence, through the various sub- 
jects of the course of study, that one 
has difficulty in deciding when failure 
may be admitted. 

Why School Gardens Fail 



Among the causes for disappoint- 
ment and discouragement, if not 
failure, are the undertaking of too 
much work, the lack of fencing, the 
difficulty of getting water, destruc- 
tion of the plants by gophers, frost, 
etc., neglect during vacation and the 
changing of teachers. Some of these 
difficulties are peculiar to the prairie 
and western conditions. They are, 
however, also difficulties with which 
the farmer has to contend so that the 
boy, the future-citizen, may have 
an opportunity of experimenting on 
a smaller scale. 

Many enthusiastic teachers make 
the mistake of undertaking a large 
garden, or attempting to cover a 
wide selection of plants, and fail to 
estimate accurately the amount of 
work required in the later cultiva- 
tion in the limited time at the dis- 
posal of the pupils. Prairie children 
who live three or four miles from 
school, and often have to walk to and 
from school., cannot be expected to 
spend any considerable time in 
garden work outside of school hours. 
The result is too often a crop of 
vegetables allowed to go to seed, 
with weeds producing an even larger 
crop of seed. The educational value 
of such an experience is negative; 
thrift should be one of the products 
of garden work. 

Prairie farms are seldom fenced 
and the school grounds also suffer 
similarly. While cattle are not per- 
mitted to run at large, school gar- 
dens have suffered destruction from 
chance visits of stray animals. 
There are other ways in which a 
fence would often afford protection 
to the plots on which the children 
have expended patient care. 


The question of supplying the 
children with suitable drinking-water 
has given a great deal of trouble and 
has not yet been satisfactorily 
solved. It can be readily appre- 
ciated then, that the problem of 

providing sufficient water for the 
plants, offers no less difficulty. 
Again, this is a farmer's problem 
which presents itself for solution at 
several stages in the crop season. 
It is only necessary to note the atten- 
tion devoted to questions of irriga- 
tion and dry-farming to understand 
something of the magnitude of this 
problem. Of course a partial solu- 
tion is often found in arranging for a 
cistern, dug-outs, etc., but even then 
the difficulty is not wholly overcome. 

On the prairie the gopher is ever 
with us, despite energetic attempts 
to eradicate the pest. Many and 
many a time I have been told by 
teacher or pupil of the destruction 
of the garden by the visits of these 
creatures. During July and August 
hailstorms by day, and frost by 
night cause many disappointments, 
and against these there is little 
defence. However, the young citi- 
zen receives a lesson that may serve 
him in good stead in later life. 

The vacation problem is not 
usually so acute in the rural dis- 
tricts, as many of the schools decide 
upon the short vacation in summer, 
with the longer vacation in winter. 
The urban districts can usually make 
arrangements to have the garden 
cared for during the vacation. 


Probably the factor that con- 
tributes most to the failure of school 
garden work is the changing of 
teachers. Unfortunately, there are 
three conditions, perhaps, peculiar 
to the prairie country, which account 
for the changing of the teachers so 
frequently; the period of operation 
of many of the rural districts does not 
greatly exceed 140 days per year; 
boards of trustees do not give suffi- 
cient attention to training and ex- 
perience in deciding the amount of 
salary to be paid, many teachers for 
whom provisional certificates have 
to be secured being offered the same 
salary as teachers with second class 
certificates; there is often a lack of 


The School Garden 

encouragement and support as be- 
tween trustees and young teachers, 
creating an atmosphere that does 
not tend to make for permanency in 
the position. The new teacher often 
misses excellent opportunities of 
establishing a permanency by 
neglecting to complete the work 
undertaken and conducted up to the 

The increase in the number of 
class-rooms having flowering plants 
and bulbs is most gratifying; this 
phase of school garden work might 
well be extended as there are fewer 
difficulties to be met, and the trans- 
formation of the class-room amply 
repays all the time and trouble given 
to the care and cultivation of the 



MOST people judge of the 
success of school gardens 
by the volume and excellence 
of the crops produced. Some teach- 
ers and school inspectors and most 
school trustees regard success from 
this standpoint. In so far as these 
material results are the result of 
painstaking care and intelligent ap- 
plication on the part of the pupils 
just so far may we look upon them 
as evidences of success and no 
farther. In the pages of The Agri- 
cultural Gazette of Canada this 
question of the truly successful 
garden has been several times 
discussed. It is quite possible to 
have a garden at school which would 
be a great failure from the stand- 
point of the average market gardener 
but a great success from the stand- 
point of an earnest teacher, whose 
pupils have had opened up to them 
through their work and study in the 
school garden new and wholesome 
interests, which are destined to lead 
them out into a larger life — a life 
full of thoughtful, purposeful ac- 
tivity, in which they will come to 
know and appreciate the beauties 
as well as the utilities about them. 


On the teacher, more than on 
anyone or anything else, depends the 
success or failure of the school 
garden. The teacher may fail 
through lack of interest or through 

lack of a real understanding of the 
meaning of the work. More often, 
however, the teacher's failure is due 
to inadequate preparation for the 
work, and consequently to mistakes, 
bad management and bad methods 
of conducting the work. Experience 
in gardening is, of course, valuable, 
but the management of classes in the 
garden and the conducting of profit- 
able lessons in both garden and 
class-room are things that an expert 
gardener might utterly fail in. How 
to make the most of the school 
garden, not for the growing of 
carrots and cabbages, as some might 
think, but as a part of the equip- 
ment of the school for the purpose 
of training and educating boys and 
girls, is something that most teachers 
must yet learn. 


Many teachers, not all, complain 
of pressure of work and the prepar- 
ing of pupils for examinations and 
look upon the time spent in the 
school garden as so much time and 
energy expended which might have 
been used in "getting up" the work 
in the other school subjects. All 
such teachers naturally regard school 
gardening as so much "extra" work. 
No one who knows will say that 
school gardening does not mean 
extra work. Most teachers, how- 
ever, will tell you that their pupils 
as well as themselves have found 

Why School Gardens Fail 


the garden work both interesting 
and recreative. The great problem 
then must be concerned with turning 
school garden interest and daily 
garden experience to account in the 
teaching of the formal subjects of 
the curriculum — arithmetic, reading, 
writing, composition, drawing, etc. 
Some teachers are finding this quite 
possible, and are no longer com- 
plaining of the overcrowded curric- 

In the next place school gardening 
will meet with variable success or 
failure so long as teachers change 
from school to school as frequently 
as at present. This great disadvan- 
tage will be minimized, of course : 
when all teachers are specially trained 
in the work. With the establishing 
of the teacher's residence and the 
increase of the percentage of male 
teachers in our schools something 
approaching permanency will result. 


Lack of sympathy and co-operation 
on the part of trustees and rate- 
payers has in some cases prevented 
the establishing of school gardens, or 
has led to the abandoning of them. 
This opposition has almost passed 
away and we are glad to note that 
instead we now not infrequently find 
trustees and parents urging that 
school gardening and other agricul- 
tural studies be inaugurated in the 
schools of their districts. Only those 
people who do not rightly under- 
stand the meaning and purpose of 

the school garden will be found op- 
posing it. 

Some attempts at school garden- 
ing have failed for the simple reason 
that the conditions for gardening 
were unfavourable in the extreme. 
At the same time, people have been 
led to wonder at the excellent 
gardens that have been established 
where such forbidding things as ash 
heaps, tin cans and burdocks held 
sway. Indeed, not the least value 
arising from school gardening is the 
experience gained in cultivating and 
bringing under control most re- 
factory garden sites. Nevertheless, 
txachers and school boards would be 
wise in always selecting a piece of 
land for school gardening which in 
season can be made productive. In 
some cases, the labour and expense 
entailed in making and maintaining 
a garden have been very great, but, 
speaking generally, expense is not 
a frequent cause of k : 'ure in school 

Finally, the long summer vacation 
offers some difficulty. A garden 
neglected throughout the months of 
July and August is a great disappoint- 
ment. Such failure, however, is 
merely an evidence of bad manage- 
ment and of carelessness on the part 
of everyone concerned — teachers, 
pupils and trustees. Neglect of the 
school garden and school ground 
during the summer usually results 
from lack of interest and failure on 
the part of teachers and trustees to 
appreciate the real value of the work. 



THE aim of the teacher is to 
make the country school 
a centre of useful influences, 
at least that is an aim which the rural 
school teacher each year finds more 
possible of realization . The school as 
an educational centre, a social and 
recreational centre, and a centre 
from which there shall spread the 
longing to have really creditable and 
beautiful rural homes, is not at all a 
visionary idea and is perhaps realiz- 
able for every rural school in the 

The seed of this idea is already 
germinating and the resulting plant 
is bound to yield much valuable 
fruit to nourish the physical, social, 
and spiritual life of the nation. 

In offering a suggestion with regard 
to the function which the rural 
school may fulfil, in connection with 
the delightful task of disseminating a 
greater love of the beautiful among 
its pupils and their parents, it is 
only natural to recall the handicaps 
which envelop some rural schools. 
Lack of any appreciation, on the 
part of parents and trustees, of the 
material and ethical value of beauty, 
lack of room around the school house, 
or a very shabby looking building, 
lack of funds and what not. But 
such things to the teacher with 
vision need not totally discourage. 
With every idea a beginning must 
be made, and where a beginning has 
been made already so much the 


The subject of this paper "Propa- 
gation of Ornamental Plants," in 
many of its aspects is not new to the 
teacher, although it may be new to 

many of the children. Whether it 
is so or not, it may be used as the 
basis for either starting or helping 
forward the work of creating more 
rural beauty, with the school as the 
centre of the movement. 

The first thing to reflect on is how 
to start such work in a practicable, 
simple way and with some hope of 
success, especially if the task of 
obtaining funds for such work is 
difficult. The best advice that can 
be given on this point is to say that, 
if the school grounds have received 
that preliminary attention in the 
matter of grading and levelling, etc., 
and if funds are procurable for the 
purpose, it will be wise to purchase a 
few hardy shrubs and ornamental 
trees from a reliable nursery com- 
pany and plant them out at once. 
But supposing this is accomplished 
already and that the school 
grounds are laid out to play-ground, 
school gardens, etc., or, supposing 
the school grounds in any condition 
you please, there is still a great 
opportunity for the rural school to 
become a strong influence in dissem- 
inating true beauty and fragrance 
throughout many rural communities, 
and this by means of a thoroughly 
workable and simple plan. More 
than twenty-five years ago the Cen- 
tral Farm at Ottawa began the work 
of testing ornamental plants to 
obtain suitable varieties for the 
different conditions of our Canadian 
climate. There soon followed the 
work of distributing these plants to 
branch farms in different parts of 
the country. The results to-day 
are that there are numbers of beau- 
tiful grounds, driveways, parks, 
public institutions, etc., which owe 


The Propagation of Ornamental Plants 


their beauty to plants thus dissem- 
inated; many were raised from seed, 
cuttings, etc., at the Central Farm, 
Ottawa. What the Central Farm 
has been to the Dominion at large, 
the rural school may become to the 
community it serves. 


The suggestion is then, that it 
would be a practicable and quite 
simple scheme for the teacher of each 
rural school to start a small school 
nursery. This nursery might con- 
sist of a twelve foot strip, or less, at 

pupils so that they may take home 
a few shrubs such as lilac, honey- 
suckle, Japanese rose, etc., to plant 
around their own homes. 


The preparation of a suitable seed 
bed in which the seeds of shrubs and 
perennial flowers may be sown will 
involve about a day's careful work, 
not more. The beds as prepared 
at Ottawa for this purpose are very 
simple affairs. The beds are made 
four feet wide and any length, six- 
inch boards are used, and these are 


Seed Sown May 25th, Photo Taken August 20th 

one end of the school grounds. It 
must be prepared to receive the 
plants which may be raised from 
seed and cuttings in a still smaller 
seed bed. The seed bed then is the 
first thing to be started. And what 
shall be started in it? Only the seed 
of those plants which are hardy, 
beautiful, and suitable — suitable for 
two purposes: First, to plant around 
the school grounds in those positions 
where trees, hedges, shrubs and 
flowers will help to beautify the 
school house and grounds, and, sec- 
ondly, to distribute amongst the 

kept in position by stakes driven into 
the ground every few feet to which 
the boards are nailed. Inside the 
area enclosed by the boards the soil 
is thoroughly prepared, all coarse 
stones, weeds, etc., are taken out, 
and, finally, as a top-dressing, a layer 
of several inches of good quality, 
fine sandy loam is applied. This is 
in order that the seeds may have 
every chance to germinate properly. 
The only other thing that is necessary 
is something with which to shade the 
young plants as they are coming up. 
For this purpose any sort of coarse 


The School Garden 

canvas may be nailed to a frame and 
used, or laths nailed together to 
form a lattice form equally useful 
shading material. In fact many 
methods of shading may be used 
with equal success. 


In sowing the seed little trenches 

are made crossways of the bed. That 

is, the rows are each four feet long, 

and these trenches, which are made 

be slightly firmed after the seed has 
been sown, and if at all dry it must 
be thoroughly watered. By sowing 
the seed early in the spring, when it 
is best to sow it, the work of watering 
this seed bed will be very light, as 
the spring rains are generally suffi- 
cient to start the seed into growth. 
Later on in the summer when the sun 
is hot, water should be given every 
dry day, and the shade mentioned 
in the foregoing, should be used 


1 ! < 


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^T *^f 



c > < 

& --^Xj 



^^\ /} A \ j 

t'f / 1 A j- 


M.) \j\ \ 




/ ^~^l 

\J noW k 

^\ ^i~^ 

^-jdL \ 


/i$L^ /) 




y*yy ^|v 


Top-growth made during summer. 

a. Cuttings 12 inches in length, inserted in soil up to 

mark (a). 

b. Roots formed the following summer. 

d. Buds which will form additional shoots like (c) the 
second summer. 

by placing a four foot board on its 
edge and pressing it firmly into the 
soil, are made about six inches apart 
and one or two inches deep according 
to the size of the seed to be sown. 
Covering the seed is a simple matter, 
and may be done with the fingers or 
with the board which was used for 
making the trench. The soil should 

during the hottest days. 

In the Prairie Provinces where 
the summers are hot and dry, it is 
best to sow the seed in the autumn 
just before the ground freezes up. 
It is best to use, where possible, 
seed gathered during the same sum- 
mer. Seed from trees like the Ash 
and Manitoba Maple is very easily 

The Propagation of Ornamental Plants 


collected. These trees are particu- 
larly useful on the prairies and do 
well there. 


In the early autumn those plants 
which have made good growth during 
the summer may be dug up and 
planted out into the nursery. In 
fact some of the perennial flowers 
like Hollyhocks, Blanket flowers, 
Delphiniums, etc., will be big enough 
for the pupils to take home and plant 
around their homes that autumn. 
The following year they will give 
fine bloom and all perennial flowers 
will live for many years and give 
quantities of bloom each year. The 
shrubs, however, should not be 
distributed until they have made 
about two years growth in the school 
nursery. Then in the autumn or 
early spring they might be all dug 
up, some planted to assigned places 
around the school grounds, and the 
others carefully distributed to the 
pupils or their parents. Hundreds 
of beautiful shrubs could thus be 
disseminated throughout the com- 
munity. . 

The nursery strip, which is re- 
served to receive the plants as they 
are taken up from the seed bed, 
should be ploughed, or dug, in the 
spring and should be kept well cul- 
tivated and free from weeds during 
the summer. It will then be in good 
condition to receive the young plants 
in the autumn. The nursery rows 
are made about three feet apart and 
the plants are put about twelve 
to eighteen inches apart in the rows. 
The nursery strip must be kept 
cultivated and free from weeds 
while the plants are growing. It 
should also be protected, if necessary, 
from being tramped on by the child- 
ren. The children could be trained, 
no doubt, to take equal interest in 
their school seed-bed and nursery 
as they do in their school gardens, 
and they should be carefully in- 
structed in the simple art of trans- 
planting flowering shrubs. 


Seed of only those shrubs and 
flowers which are beautiful, hardy 
and thrifty should be sown. In 
some localities the seed or cuttings 
of several native plants might be 
used to splendid advantage. The 
climbing Bitter-sweet, (Celastrus 
scandens) grows wild in many parts 
of Canada. It makes one of the 
very best hardy vines for verandahs 
and porches. It is easily raised from 
seed. The self-fastening variety of 
the Virginian Creeper which is the 
very best vine for covering the 
house is also found wild in many 
parts. It is easily raised from cut- 
tings and the many thousands which 
have been sent out from the Central 
Farm have all been raised that way. 
The cuttings are taken from plants 
growing on the buildings around the 
Farm. They are taken just after 
the leaves fall in the autumn. Wood 
not quite as thick as a lead pencil is 
selected and cut into lengths a foot 
long. These cuttings are placed 
base downward in sand for the winter, 
during which period a callous forms 
over the cut ends. In the spring 
they are planted out. They must 
be buried for about three quarters 
their length. Roots will then form, 
and, later on, from the buds left 
above the ground, leaves will shoot 
out. Cuttings may be made from 
some other suitable plants, as given 
in the following list, in a similar 
manner, although in most cases 
where seed can be obtained it 
should be used. The seed of some 
shrubs which has a very thick seed- 
coat will not germinate until it 
has been left in the ground for one 
whole year, or longer, and, therefore, 
the seed-bed should not be dug up 
too hastily. 

The Central Farm each year 
makes, for experimental purposes, 
a small distribution of such seed as 
is collected on the Farm grounds. 
Those teachers who wish to start 
work similar to that herewith 


The School Garden 

suggested, and who make timely 
application for it, would be welcome 
to such seed as could be spared from 
the Farm collection. The quantity 
of such seed is, of course, limited. 

Some of the trees, shrubs, and 
perennial flowers which could be 
most easily raised from seed, and 
which are perhaps most suitable for 
school and home surroundings, are 
as follows : 


1. Trees:— 

Sugar Maple. 

White Spruce. 

Green Ash. 

Norway Maple. 

Scotch Pine. 

Manitoba Maple (for the Prairie 

Arbor- Vitse or Cedar. 

2. Small Trees:— 

Siberian Pea Tree. 
Mountain Ash. 
Japanese Tree Lilac. 

■1. Shrubs: - 

Japanese Barberry. 
Japanese Rose. 
Bush Honeysuckles. 
Wayfaring Tree. 
Common Lilacs. 

4. Perennial Flowers: — 
Shasta Daisy. 
Blanket Flowers. 







Oriental Poppies. 




5. Trees:— 

Arbor Vita; or Cedar. 

6. Shrubs: — 

Van Houtte's Spiraea. 


Flowering Currant. 


Mock Orange. 


7. Self- fastening Virginia Creeper. 

NOTE: — On account of the hardness and 
thickness of the seed coat of such seeds as 
the Basswood, and sometimes the Japanese 
Rose, it has been found that the seed 
when sown in the autumn, soon after 
ripening, will not germinate in the spring 
with the seeds of other plants. It remains 
dormant in the ground for a year and a 
half. Most of it will germinate, however, 
in the second spring. 

Cuttings of the willows and poplars will 
root in any good moist soil, but those of 
the cedars and most of the shrubs will 
succeed best in a moist, sandy soil. • All 
cuttings should be kept shaded. 

Cuttings of currants, both the red and 
black varieties, will root very easily and 
the illustration shows how a cutting 
transforms into a plant in one year. 




THE school garden at Souris 
school, Weyburn, will rank 
as one of the best school 
gardens operated in America during 
1914. Under the direction of the 
Principal, Mr. Stanley Phillips, 
a considerable plot of ground was 
ploughed in the spring of 1914 and 
afterwards fenced. At that time 
pupils of Grades one to five only 
were accommodated in the four 
class-rooms of this school. Under 

being six feet apart, while those 
running East and West ware twelve 
feet apart, thus actually representing 
the survey of the roads in the pro- 
vince. Each senior pupil fyled on 
and had charge of a double section, 
twelve feet by six feet, while each 
junior pupil fyled on and had charge 
of a section six feet square. 

Implements and seeds were pur- 
chased by the Board for the use 
of the pupils, who were given con- 


supervision of the teachers, these 
pupils surveyed the garden as a 
rural municipality. (In Saskatche- 
wan a rural municipality is eighteen 
miles square, including nine town- 
ships, and is governed by a munici- 
pal council, including a reeve elected 
by the whole municipality and six 
councillors each elected by a divi- 
sion). Each section or square mile 
was represented by a plot six feet 
square. The roads were represented 
by paths two and three feet wide, 
those running North and South 

siderable freedom in the matter of 
choice of vegetable and flower seeds 
and the arrangement of the indi- 
vidual plots. A portion of the 
garden was planted with trees, while 
another portion was planted with 
some seven hundred shrubs pre- 
sented by the Provincial Landscape 
Architect. Along one side of the 
garden a community farm was oper- 
ated, being planted with several 
kinds of grain and the larger vege- 



The School Garden 


Not the least interesting and 
valuable feature is to be found in 
the fact that the garden was man- 
aged by a municipal council, elected 
by and from the pupils in the school. 
This council included a reeve twelve 
years old and six councillors, one 
of whom was a girl. Valuable lessons 
in Civics, Geography, Arithmetic, 
Language, Drawing, etc., were all 
made more interesting and vital 
by reason of the garden, while 
Nature Study and Elementary Agri- 
culture assumed concrete and defi- 
nite form. The interest not only of 
the children but also of the parents 
was sustained throughout the season. 
Many visitors from the city and 
neighbouring school districts, as well 
as from other parts of the province, 
expressed their appreciation of the 
undertaking. Dr. R. W. Wilson, 
Principal of the Normal School, 
Regma, and Hon. Walter Scott, 
Premier and Minister of Education, 
were pleased to visit the garden 
during the summer and manifested 
considerable interest in the under- 
taking, particularly in the applica- 
tion to the regular class-work, in- 
cluding a practical teaching of Civics. 
Interested citizens provided $64 
for prizes awarded to the children 
for the best constant care of their 

The Council met only as necessity 
arose and transacted the business 
in regular fashion. Minutes of two 
meetings will suffice to indicate the 
nature of the business. 



The Council met in Room 4, at recess, 
all members being present, Reeve Beischel 
in the chair. 

Kathleen Deans - Ormond Stewart:— 
1 hat Henry Brown be appointed secretary- 
treasurer. Carried. 

Stewart -Joe Hess:— That the following 
seed inspectors be appointed, Pearl Luck- 
singer Eddie Kyle, Frank Wingert and 
Lreo. Clement. Carried. 

Albert Brown - Willis Bumside:— That 
the teachers of the staff be legal advisors 
to the Council. Carried. 

Neil Gibson - Hess:— That the grant of 
money from the School Board be accepted 
with thanks. Carried. 

. Bumside -Brown: -That meeting ad- 
journ to meet at the call of the Reeve. 

(Signed) Roy Beischel, Reeve. 
(Signed) Henry Brown, Secretary. 

The second meeting of Council was held 
in Koom 4, at recess, all members and 
ameers being present, Reeve Beischel in 
the chair. 

Stewart - Doane:— That Blue and White 
be adopted as the school colours, and that 
the School Board be requested to have the 
posts, of the new fence surrounding the 
school garden painted in these colours 

A communication was read from In- 
spector Kennedy re prizes for the plots 
showing the best constant care during the 
season, together with a list .>f sixteen 
subscribers to a fund of $<;4 for this 
purpose and recommending that Dr. R. M 
Mitchell, M.L.A., chairman of the Board; 
Mr. P. E. Netheral, chairman of the 
Property Committee, and Mr. J. Marshall, 
M. A., principal of the High School, act as 
judges in this competition. 

Brown - Bumside:— That this communi- 
cation be received and riled and that the 
recommendations be adopted. Carried. 

Mesz - Doane:— That the weed in- 
spectors lie instructed to see that the 
owners of plots proceed with the weeding 
of the plots and adjoining paths. Carried. 

n«* G i bson " Mesz: ThiU u " brings be 
luted and corner stakes firmly driven 

Doane -Stewart:— That the secretary 
procure and post a sign bearing "Visitors 
Welcome." Carried. 

Bumside -Brown:— That meeting ad- 
journ to meet at the call of the Reeve. 

(Signed) Roy Beischel, Reeve. 
(Signed) Henry Brown, Secretary. 

A School Garden Municipality 



QU'APPELLE High School for tenders for the care of the entire 

had a successful students' garden during the holiday months 

parliament which centred at a small salary. Several appli- 

If upon the cultivation and man- cants appeared and being put in 

agement of the school flower and control were instructed to sell the 

vegetable gardens. The parliament lettuce and radishes, the proceeds 

having five constituencies, divided being added to the school funds, 

the available land into five parts, Rain in the latter part of May 

each of which was divided into 12 brought the gardens along finely, 

lots One of the lots was reserved but frost in June played havoc with 

for experiments in corn and potatoes, the beans, corn and tomatoes, which 

Each pupil was responsible for his however, were resown and came along 

special plot. Each grade had a well. Drought retarded the 

choice of flowers and vegetables, growth later on, but on the whole, 

Grade 1 for instance, seeded turnips, according to Miss Virginia Longpre, 

and Grade II beets and sweet peas, the Secretary of State, from whose 

The intermediate classes had a choice report these notes are taken, the 

of three from four varieties. Grade garden was a success, and proved 

VIII cultivated tomatoes, cabbages helpful in the study of agricultural 

and dahlias. The members of the and nature subjects, 

parliament were given the privilege Miss Thelma Craig, the Minister 

of plots in their own constituency of Finance, submitted to the house 

row The plots not taken were sub- the following statement for the year : 
divided and given to the care of the 

higher public school grades, lhe RECEIPTS 

parliament had its cabinet with a Departmental grant $20. oo 

premier and various officers of state. Sale of radishes. i. 25 

£,, . „_ + u Q HvW nf his col- School gai den sale o.4» 

The premier on the advice oi nis coi ^ 
leagues appointed judges who re- 
ported every two weeks. Score cards j 31 70 
were provided on which 30 marks EXPENDITURES 

were allowed for general appearance, Weeding , 5 26 

15 for condition of cultivation, cSU lor selling of radishes 50 

ahspnre of weeds and 15 for abun- Advertising exhibit 2 00 

aoseiiLt; uiwcc method One hundred copies of Progress 5.00 

dance of growth. .By tn ^ "f™"" Pr i zes for vegetables 7.45 

constant attention was ensured, ai Cons u tU ency prize Li.50 

the close of the school term the 

Minister of Agriculture advertised $31.70 


The School Garden 


THE Broadview Branch of the 
Young Men's Christian Asso- 
ciation, Toronto, is unique 
among such associations in Canada 
in so far as it pays especial attention 
to gardening. Established fifteen 
years ago, in connection with the 
Broadview Boys' Institute, merged 
three years since into the Y.M.C.A. 


Hoys' Secretary. Broadview Branch, Toronto Young 

Men B ( hr.stian Association 

it is claimed for the Broadview Boy's 
Fall Fair that it is the largest of its 
kind in America. Whether this 
claim is definitely correct or not the 
prize list, of which six thousand 
copies are printed, is certainly a very 
comprehensive and pretentious docu- 
ment, comprising 52 pages with 
special covers and including 22 
classes divided into 320 sections. 


The fair covers three days in the 
middle of September and as exhibits 
embraced vegetables, flowers, ponies, 

dogs, rabbits, cavies, goats, and mis- 
cellaneous pets, pigeons, including 
magpies, poultry, natural history, 
amateur photography, drawings and 
paintings, industrial crafts (boats, 
sleds, carts, kennels, fretwork, basket 
work, printing, darning, model elec- 
trical apparatus, skies, snowshoes, 
toboggans and any other article the 
judges consider worthy), manual 
training creations, domestic science 
articles of food, penmanship, aero- 
nautics (dirigible balloons, mono- 
planes, bi-planes, models of aeroplane 
or glider) and miscellaneous collec- 
tions of boys' treasures, such as auto- 
graphs, buttons, badges, coins, post- 
cards, postage stamps, crests, prize 
tickets, medals, college and city 
colours and pennants, flags from 
gum, war trophies and other novelties 
and souvenirs. Prizes in connection 
with the fair are also given for 
oratory and literature, music, boy 
scout exercises, swimming and ath- 
letics. The special features of the 
three days covered by the fair are: 

Thursday evening,— grand open- 
ing, oratorical contest. 

Friday evening,— swimming com- 

Saturday afternoon, — scout dem- 
onstration and contest, athletic 
games, pony parade and races and 
dog jumping in athletic field. 

Saturday evening, — band concert. 

The following extra exhibits are 
also on view: 

Red Cross exhibit; safety first; 
health exhibit; model boy's room 
and library; pocket testament booth ; 
provincial government mine and 
vegetable exhibits; photo demon- 
stration ; graphic arts society exhibit ; 
photographs of exploration (this 
year some original views of the South 
Pole expedition). 


All exhibitors in the competitive 
classes must be boys under 18 years 

A School Garden Municipality 


of age. An entry fee of 10c. is 
charged for the first exhibit and 5c. 
for each subsequent exhibit. The 
admission fee is 25c. for adults and 
10c. for children. Meals can be had 
on the grounds. Besides a large 
number of useful articles, of medals, 
cups, etc., five hundred dollars in 
cash are distributed in prizes. Cards 
and red, blue and yellow ribbons are 
also awarded. 

met by the Y.M.C.A., by pubMc sub- 
scription and fro own 
fees. A number of bu.-.. men sub- 
scribe to the prize list and give prizes 
for special exhibits. Until the last 
few years the Ontario government 
made an annual grant of $75, but 
although the government exhibits 
minerals and vegetables the grant 
has been discontinued. 



The rules provide that the boys 
must make their own entries and 
transact all their own business. In 
fact both what is called " The Garden 
City" and the fair are controlled, 
managed and arranged by the boys 
themselves, supervised by the Boys' 
Secretary of the Branch, Mr. H. W. 
Kingerley. The boys have an elected 
city council with board of control, 
various committees and Mr. King- 
erley as mayor. The expenses are 


The only officials connected with 
"The Garden City" not appointee! 
by the boys' council are three judges 
and an advisory board who are nomi- 
nated by the governing board or 
management of the Y.M.C.A., but 
approved by the boys. Just as the 
Toronto exhibition has assumed the 
name of "Canadian National," so is 
the Broadview Boys' Fair termed 
"National Exhibition of Boys" 
Work." Meetings are held regularly 


The School Garden 



ir. wi M\i\, i 


A School Garden Municipality 


every month and on special occasions, 
when addresses and lectures are de- 
livered on gardening and kindred 
subjects. In this connection it 
should be mentioned that while the 
small charge of two cents a package 
is made for seeds they are generally 
donated by local seed firms. Experi- 
ence has taught that what the boys 
Eay for is a great deal more valued 
y them and less subject to waste 
than when freely distributed. 


"The Garden City" which was 
founded in 1901 by Mr. C. J. 
Atkinson, now field secretary of 
Federated Boys' Clubs of America, is 
located at 275 Broadview Avenue, 
Toronto, and on three lines of street 
cars. From this fact, and consider- 
ing the value of land in a large city, 
the statement will be appreciated 
that the property is somewhat limited 
in extent. Even at that it is divided 
into streets, parks, avenues and 
squares, with a circular floral park 
adorned with flag pole in the 
centre. There are two lots situated 
to the west of the playground, to the 
north of the spacious Y.M.C.A. 
building, and fronting on Broadview 
Avenue. One is 42 by 32 feet and 
the other 12 by 32 feet. These are 
surrounded by decorative flowers and 
subdivided into 47 squares or gardens 
10 feet by 10 feet and 10 feet by 12 
feet, tilled and cultivated by 50 boys 
ranging in age from 10 to 16. They 
are devoted mainly to vegetables, 
the boys, as the sacretary says, being 
more appreciative of things eatable 
than things ornamental. Official in- 
spection is made and progress re- 

ported every month along with 
recommendations and criticisms. 


Following are the rubs and bill of 
expenses formulated and adopted by 
the council of boys, which is com- 
prised of thirty directors or duly 
elected juvenile aldermen: — 


We propose a tax of ten cents per 
month on each plot. This must be 
paid on or before the 15th of each 
month, first payment to be made by 
May 1st to J. Rose, city treasurer. 
In case of non-payment of taxes 
property will be seized. 

We propose to organize an Ad- 
visory Board consisting of at least 
three business men. 

We propose that we meet for 
supper on the first Monday in each 
month. Supper to cost ten cents. 

We propose that each citizen pay 
two cents for each package of seed. 

We propose that each citizen do 
one hour's work each month to help 
beautify the city. 


Wheel barrow $3 00 

Hoes 1 00 

Fork 1.00 

Rakes 1 00 

Spade J.; 100 

Manure 1 00 

Watering cans j ' 00 

Plants for centre of city 5 ' 00 

Mid-Summer Show 5 00 

Flag 5; 00 

Miscellaneous 1 06 

Total $25.00 




THE number of home gardens 
cared for by school children 
increased from 700 in 1914 to 
1900 in 1915. School gardens have 
made no material advance. After 
home gardening has made this side of 
education popular, the school garden 
will probably come to stay. But at 
present we in this province seem 
scarcely ready for it. 

in making and keeping up the gar- 
den. For two years she conducted 
it practically alone. Now, however, 
an enthusiastic and capable rural 
science teacher has taken charge of 
the school, and is giving the assist- 
ance that was so much desired. 
From this garden in 1915 were sold 
100 boxes of strawberries and five 
dollars' worth of flower seeds. In 


To be sure there are notable ex- 
ceptions. It would be difficult to 
find in any rural community a better 
school garden than that at South 
Berwick, King's County. This gar- 
den was started by a lady resident 
of the section, who was able to get 
the assistance of the school children 

the fall, a flower and shrubbery 
border was prepared on two sides of 
the spacious school grounds. 

Several schools are preparing for 
perennial flower borders. In nearly 
all cases, however, we are leaving 
vegetable culture to the home. 


Gardening Operations 




THE school garden movement 
in the province of Quebec 
has been greatly helped by 
the school inspectors, the teachers 
and the school boards. The following 
statistics are interesting in this con- 

Number of Number of 




having a 












A number of pupil gardeners' clubs 
and school museums were established 

during the year. It is not our 
intention to increase the number 
of school gardens this year, but to 
maintain those that have been esta- 
blished. They will be improved, in 
accordance with the experience gain- 
ed during the past year, and a system 
of agricultural teaching will be organ- 
ized, based upon the degree of in- 
struction of the pupils and adapted 
to the requirements of the district 
and to the climate. 

The educational part of the school 
garden is being more and more real- 
ized and the advantages of the agri- 
cultural profession are better appre- 
ciated by the rural school pupils. 



ONTARIO has always been cau- 
tious, perhaps over-cautious 
in undertaking new problems. 
This is seen in the attitude towards 
school gardens. As this is essentially 
a rural problem it is subject to rural 
ideas, which too often are non-pro- 
gressive. The rural community as- 
sumes the attitude that it got along 
without gardens for a couple of gen- 
erations, and why should it not con- 
tinue to do so? Progress will necess- 
arily be slow. Other difficulties pre- 
sent themselves. 

The school grounds, for the aver- 
age Ontario school, occupy about 
one-half acre, or, perhaps one acre, 
and this is for buildings and play- 
grounds. If a garden is required, it 
will be necessary to secure more land. 
This looks to the farmer, quite fre- 
quently, too much of an innovation, 
and he waits to see what others may 

There is no doubt that the teacher 
will be the chief factor in the devel- 

opment of the idea. But the teacher 
sees in it very little except additional 
work and responsibility and is fre- 
quently not qualified to direct the 
work successfully. Moreover, the 
garden is such a public part of the 
school work that the teacher fears 
failure, because in the garden it is so 
easily seen. Other school work, if 
poorly done, is not so easy to see. 
But garden work is not so difficult 
as many teachers imagine. A cer- 
tain amount of training is necessary, 
the more the better. 

To encourage the school-garden 
work and the teaching of elementary 
agriculture in rural schools the De- 
partment of Education offers grants 
in money to such schools as will seri- 
ously undertake the work. To a 
teacher with an elementary agricul- 
tural certificate carrying on the whole 
work successfully throughout the 
year, the Minister will pay $40 to the 
teacher and $30 to the board. To a 
teacher who holds a second class 
teacher's certificate, after 1915, and 


The School Garden 

who carries on the work successfully 
throughout the year, the Minister 
will pay $20 to the teacher and $15 
to the board. 

The Public and Separate School 
inspectors supervise the work and 
decide the matter of qualification 
for grants under the approval of the 

Minister of Education. 

It is expected that school gardens 
in the rural schools will have some 
tendency to prolong the teacher's 
term in each school. The more a 
teacher puts into a school the less 
likely she is to leave to undertake 
work in another school. 




DURING the past year, a mark- 
ed increase in interest has 
been displayed by both 
teachers and trustees in this branch 
of Education. Most of the new 
school sites, especially those in con- 
nection with consolidated schools, 
have been well fenced and have had 
land prepared for the planting of 
windbreaks, ornamental trees and 
school gardens. Many old sites that 

the number of last year. The season 
was, however, rather discouraging 
to school gardeners, as it was to the 
farmers with their gardens. The 
spring opened early and was favour- 
able for putting in garden seeds. 
The germination was all that could 
be desired and the plants were doing 
splendidly when heavy frosts about 
the middle of June cut almost 
everything to the ground. Teachers 


have not even been fenced have been 
improved in a simila" manner. 

Teachers and trustees are beginning 
to realize the value of making the 
school buildings and their surround- 
ings as attractive as those of the 
best farm homes of the district. 


The number of school gardens was 
increased atjeast fifty !per cent over 

and children were compelled to do 
as most farmers did, namely, to re- 
plant with such varieties as were 
suitable for late sowing. For this 
reason the gardens were not in very 
good condition when the school 
closed for holidays. During July 
the garden material did well, but 
a heavier frost than usual again 
occurred about the time school re- 
opened in August, and cut off much 
before it had reached maturity. 

Gardening Operations 


However, many of the school gar- 
dens are reported to have been equal 
to or better than any other gardens 
of the district. Many teachers have 
advanced beyond the "playing at 
gardening" stage, and are making 
this work of real educational value 
in relating it to the other subjects on 
the curriculum and to the interests 
of the home. Many teachers, who 
have been most successful with their 
school gardens, have adopted the 
plan of limiting the varieties grown 
by a single pupil, or even by an 
entire grade, to one or two at most. 
The advantages of such a course 

1. The pupil learns to grow one variety 
at a time more successfully. 

2. The teacher can select a variety 
suitable to the age and ability of the pupil. 

3. The pupil, or pupils of a gTade, will 
thus grow sufficient of a given variety to 
make the sale of the quantity worth while. 


In order that interest may be 
sustained throughout the full public 
school course and that the subject 
be made properly educative, I am 
convinced that teachers should fol- 
low a plan as in arithmetic, gram- 
mar or other subjects, and proceed 
from the simple to the more diffi- 
cult, year by year introducing some 
new and more advanced stage in the 
subject. As a guide to the teachers 
of this province, I have made out 
the following suggestive outline : — 

Grades 1 to 3. 

Radish Nasturtium 

Beans Poppy 

Peas Candytuft 

Beets, 2nd crop 

after Radish or 


The work in these grades should 
merely aim at interesting the pupils 
in the growth of plants. The know- 
ledge of "how and why" should be 
gradually obtained in the succeeding 

Grades 4 to 6. 

Onions Marigold Wheat 

Carrots Calliopsis Oats 

Parsnips Eschscholzia Barley 
Potatoes Mignonette 
Corn Perennials 

A pupil should not grow more than 
two varieties of vegetables each 
season, and he or she should learn 
to grow these successfully. 

Grades 7 to 9. 

Cucumber. Wheat (3) 

Cabbage (early sowing) Oats (3) 

Tomatoes (transplanting) Barley (3) 

Corn (different varieties) Alfalfa (2) 

Potatoes (different methods of Grasses 
planting and cultivation) 

Sweet Peas Maple 

Morning Glory Ash 

Gaillardia Elm 

Aster (early sowing) Lilac 

Stocks (transplanting) Honeysuckle 

Perennials Caragana 

Bulbs Snowball, etc. 
House plants 

In connection with the vegetables 
and grains, the work should be 
largely experimental. Different 
varieties should be used under the 
same conditions, or the same variety 
under different methods of planting 
and cultivation. The keeping of 
records of growth and yield, cost 
accounts, etc., should be an import- 
ant feature of the work in these 
grades. An individual pupil should 
not attempt many varieties. 


The Department of Education 
assisted teachers and trustees con- 
siderably by furnishing material such 
as trees, shrubs, and seeds, either 
free or at wholesale cost. 

During the year the following 
material was thus distributed: — 


Germination Testers 960 

Egg Testers 200 

Wheat, oats, barley, corn.. . . 7,50 J pkts. 
Potatoes (three varieties) — 1,800 

Alfalfa for small plots 2 bush. 

Tree seedlings 1 5 , 5x5 , ± 

Vegetable and flower seeds. 8,000 pkts. 
Shade and ornamental trees. 4,950 

Perennial flower roots 600 

Bulbs 7,000 


The School Garden 

The greatest drawback to the 
success of gardens at schools is the 
lack of care during the summer 
vacation. Many teachers keep the 
plots in good condition until school 
closes, but fail to organize the 
pupils for care during holidays; con- 
sequently some return to find the 
flowers or vegetables choked out 
by weeds or eaten off by animals. 
However, most teachers find some 
way of successfully overcoming the 
difficulty. Some teachers reside in 
or near the district and arrange with 
the pupils to meet regularly and weed 
the plots. In many districts the 
trustees award prizes for the best 
kept gardens. In sundry of the vil- 
lage schools the janitor or some of 
the older boys are engaged to at- 
tend to the seeding and cultiva- 


In a number of schools last season, 
the garden work was linked up with 

the subject of Civics. The entire 
plot was surveyed as a province, 
with its municipalities, townships 
and sections and the necessary 
government in connection therewith. 
There were the Premier, members of 
parliament, municipal councillors, 
road inspectors, weed inspectors, 
sale committee etc., all of whom 
were appointed or elected according 
to the laws of our province. 

I know of one school which had a 
large number of individual plots 
where such an organization was ex- 
tended to include several provinces, 
with a federal form of government. 

Many of the vegetables that are 
grown in the school plots are used 
by the children in their hot mid-day 
meals. In villages and towns where 
such was not done and where con- 
siderable material was grown, a 
sales' committee was appointed and 
the proceeds were used to procure 
school-room supplies, play-ground 
equipment, etc., or donated to the 
patriotic fund. 



ACCORDING to the report for 
the year 1914 there were 370 
school gardens in actual 
operation in the province of Sas- 
katchewan, while preparation for 
the work of school gardening had 
been made in many other school 
districts. It was further stated that 
a large number of pupils operated 
home garden plots under the super- 
vision of the teachers. 

Early in 1915 the Departments of 
Education and Agriculture endeav- 
oured to stir up enthusiasm for 
school garden work among the 
teachers of the province. The two 
directors of school agriculture who 
were appointed in the spring, — F. W. 
Bates, M.Sc, and A. W. Cocks, B.Sc, 
addressed many teachers' institutes 
and various public meetings through- 

out the province. The inspectors of 
schools gave great assistance, not 
only by arousing the interest of the 
teachers and trustees, but by the 
organization of committees for rural 
education associations and school 
fairs. The agricultural secretaries 
of the municipalities and the District 
Representatives of the Department 
of Agriculture also lent their very 
valuable assistance to this work. 


The result of such a campaign has 
been remarkably successful, for al- 
though the Department has no 
definite information as to the exact 
number of school gardens which have 
been in operation during the year, 
yet from the reports of the inspectors 
of schools it is possible to estimate 

Gardening Operations 


that at least 1,500 schools undertook 
the work. In some cases the work 
was carried on by the pupils in their 
own home gardens, but so long as 

A. W. COCKS, B.Sc. 
Director of School Agriculture for Saskatchewan 

this is under the supervision of the 
teacher the Department recognizes 
it as school gardening. It is to be 
regretted that more than 50 per cent 
of the school gardens could hardly be 
considered successful. Many reasons 
could be given for these failures, such 

as destruction by gophers and 
drought; neglect during holidays; 
change of teachers and insufficient 
enthusiasm to carry the work to a 
successful conclusion. However, a 
great advancement has been made 
and one evidence of the progress is 
seen in the large number of school 
fairs which were held in the fall. 

As usual, it was found that owing 
to the correlation of the garden work 
with the regular class work a greater 
interest in school life was exhibited 
by the pupils. The attendance was 
improved and the work of the school 
generally raised to a higher level. A 
few particular methods of conducting 
the work are worthy of attention. 
The splendid organization of the 
work at the Qu' Appelle high and pub- 
lic schools is the result of the deep 
interest of the principal, Mr. R. F. 
Meadows, and his staff in the school 
garden movement. The following, 
which is a quotation from the report 
of the Secretary of State, will ade- 
quately explain the organization: — 

"Each pupil of this school felt proud to 
consider himself a member of the students' 
parliament, under which with the general 
supervision of the teachers the manage- 
ment of the school garden was placed. 

"The House being restricted to five 
constituencies, namely: Qu'Appelle, 
Prairie, Muscowpeetung, Tekahionwake 
and Valcartier, made it necessary to divide 
the garden into five rows, each one bearing 
the name of a constituency. These rows 
were divided into twelve plots each, leav- 
ing a small bed at the end for the con- 



The School Garden 

stituency emblem. Besides the con- 
stituency rows, occupying the north end 
of the garden, were left three plots, two 
of which were allotted to grades 1 and 2 
and the other for experimental purposes 
on four different varieties of corn and of 
potatoes. For protection, at the extreme 
north end, a triangular plot the width of 
the garden was left to grow sunflowers. 

"The members of the parliament were 

of flowers and vegetables to grow, suitable 
to his grade. Grade 1 seeded turnips, 
whilst grade 2 sowed beets and sweet 
peas; thus learning the difference of size 
and the depth in which each plant will 
thrive. The intermediate classes had a 
choice of three from four varieties, whilst 
grade 8 sowed such seeds as tomatoes, 
cabbages and dahlias, thus learning the 
method of transplanting. The high school 

* <!•-;*, 


PLAN, JUNE, 1915 

given the privilege of an entire plot in 
their own constituency row. The numer- 
ous other plots which were not taken by 
the members were sub-divided in half and 
given to the care of the higher public 
school grades, making each pupil respon- 
sible for his special plot. 

"Now it must not be thought that each 
gardener seeded his plot in a haphazard 
manner. Each grade was given a choice 

pupils devoted their plots principally to 
experiments on carrots, beans or onions. 

"By offering a prize of twelve dollars' to 
the constituency having the best showing 
of marks, the Premier on the advice of his 
Cabinet appointed a committee of judges 
to judge the garden every two weeks. The 
method of judging was done by the guid- 
ance of a score-card with the allowance 
of thirty marks for general appearance, 


Gardening Operations 


fifteen for condition of cultivation, thirty 
for absence of weeds and fifteen for abun- 
dance of growth. Each judge was given 
a score card to fill in what he thought 
should be given under the different con- 
ditions. After every judging his card was 
handed in to award each constituency the 
average obtained. In this way the con- 
stant care of the gardens was made com- 

"At the close of the school term the 
Minister of Agriculture advertised for 
tenders to see to the general care of the 
entire garden during the holiday months 
at a small salary. Several applications 
were received and the applicants given 
authority to sell radishes and lettuce, the 
proceeds of which were put in the garden 

and an attempt will be made to 
cover the whole province by this 
organization. The members of these 
associations will consist of the 
teachers of the municipality, school 
trustees, agricultural secretaries and 
others interested in the work. The 
object of the associations is to arouse 
interest in the great educational 
value of the school garden; to pro- 
vide means for profitable study and 
discussion of the various phases of 
the work; to promote and develop 
the use of the school garden as a 
means of more efficient teaching and 


It is interesting to note that in 
some portions of the province, par- 
ticularly those parts settled by non- 
English speaking people from 
Europe, the produce of the school 
gardens was sold and the proceeds 
donated to the various patriotic 
funds. As the results of such a sale 
at the Yorkton school fair two beds 
were provided for the Saskatchewan 
Hospital Unit. 


The rural education associations 
already established in the province 
have been of great assistance in pro- 
ducing a greater interest in school 
garden work and many of the school 
fairs have been organized by these 
associations. It is hoped that next 
year in each rural municipality there 
will be a rural education association 

to organize demonstration and school 
garden work valuable to the agri- 
cultural interests of the community. 
Probably many of these associa- 
tions will find it advisable to hold a 
school fair, to organize contests for 
boys and giris, to promote the for- 
mation of boys' and girls' clubs and 
to provide opportunities, by means 
of entertainments, lantern lectures, 
etc., for social gatherings in the com- 

The Department of Education 
hopes that this work will result in 
establishing numerous centres of ac- 
tivity and that the directors of 
school agriculture will thus be en- 
abled to act as an exchange by which 
special features worthy of encourage- 
ment will be made known through- 
out the province. 


The School Garden 


SCHOOL gardening was first un- 
dertaken in South Weyburn, 
S.D. 670, in 1914. On the ad vice 
of Inspector Kennedy I asked the 
school board to rent a portion of a 
neighbouring garden, but we were 
given all the land we required free 
of rent, the land being ploughed for 
us the third week in May. 

The children, under my super- 
vision, surveyed the plots, staking 
them ten by five feet, with two feet 
walks between the plots and three 
feet between the rows. 

he watched his corn rival that of his 
neighbouring gardeners. 

In September when the school 
garden exhibition was held in Wey- 
burn, these children won forty-two 
prizes — forty-two books. 

When the prizes were to be dis- 
tributed we prepared a short pro- 
gramme, to which the parents were 
invited. School gardening was dis- 
cussed and all agreed to assist during 
the following year. 

Last spring the school board pur- 
chased a half acre of the above-men- 


The children brought the seed 
used from their homes, and we used 
what tools we could borrow from the 
neighbouring farms. 

Each child experimented with one 
variety of vegetable. In addition 
flower seeds were sown in a round 
bed in front of the school. The boys 
were given, in addition to their vege- 
table plot, plots in which were sown 
Marquis and Red Fife wheat, oats 
and flax!* 

These gardens created much en- 
thusiasm among the children and 
the dull pupil became interested as 

tioned neighbouring garden, and a 
passage was made through the trees 
connecting it with the school-yard. 
On the north and west this garden is 
protected by a windbreak of poplars, 
on the east by a high caragana hedge 
and two rows of raspberry bushes, 
and on t he south by a caragana hedge 
and lilac bushes. This time the 
school board staked out the plots, 
making each ten by six feet, and each 
walk five feet wide. There were 
thirty- three beds in all. 

In the walks between the rows 
trees were transplanted, a large plot 

Gardening Operations 


being made for perennials and shrubs, 
another plot sown in grains, while 
the remaining portion was used as a 
community vegetable garden. 

The board provided the seed and 
each child was given three varieties 
of garden vegetables and flower seed. 
As ten of the children ranged from 
five to seven years, the older ones 
assisted them in arranging and plant- 
ing their plots. 

During the summer vacation, des- 
pite handicaps, the children kept 

their plots free from weeds, though 
some come three miles to do it. 

The enthusiasm has not dimin- 
ished, every child being devoted to 
the garden and liking to talk about 
it. One sturdy chap remarked: "I 
can grow bigger beets than daddy." 

This fall our school won fifty-seven 
prizes in the school garden exhibition 
held in Weyburn, also four com- 
munity prizes. 

At the exhibition our vegetables 
were sold and the proceeds donated 
to patriotic purposes. 


IN the fall of the year 1914 our 
garden grounds were well man- 
ured and ploughed shallow. In 
the spring of 1915 the ground was 
ploughed deep, thus leaving the 
manure about the right depth to 
benefit the plants, and the ground 
was then well worked down with disc 
and harrow. 


The 1915 the plan of our garden 
was based upon that of a city. There 
were our wards, numbered 1,2 3, 4; 
each ward consisting of 15 lots, thus 
making in all 60 individual lots In 
the centre was a circular lot about 
7 feet in diameter, representing 
municipal building sites. This lot 
was planted with perennial flowers. 

The pathways running north and 
south represented streets, while those 
running east and west represented 
avenues. These were named by 
numbers. Each individual plot 
measured 8 feet by 12 feet. The 
whole city comprised an area of 
ground measuring 100 feet long and 
87 feet wide. In addition to the 
city proper there were community 
flower and vegetable gardens. West 
of the city limits a strip of ground 
12 feet wide, running the entire 
width of the city, north and south, 
was divided into three equal com- 
munity flower gardens. East of the 
city limits a similar strip of land, 59 
feet wide, was divided into three 
equal community vegetable gardens. 
The above plans were drafted by the 
teachers and pupils concerned, and 
approved by the inspector, Mr. A. 
Kennedy, M.A. 

Considerable latitude was given 
the pupils as to kinds of vegetables 
and flowers to be grown. It was de- 
cided by an unanimous vote of the 
pupils that the north half of each in- 
dividual plot be devoted to flowers, 
and that the south half be devoted 
to vegetables; that potatoes and 
cabbages be grown in the community 
vegetable gardens, and that sweet 
peas, geraniums, petunias, asters 
and gladioli be grown in the com- 
munity flower gardens. It was also 


The School Garden 

decided that border flowers be sown 
around each individual plot. All 
pupils sowed the same kind of bor- 
der flowers east and west, north and 
south. This arrangement produced 
a pleasing effect when the flowers 
came into bloom. 

Garden records were kept by each 
pupil interested in the work. In 
these record books were recorded 
such interesting observations as gar- 
den cultivation, preparation of soil, 
time and depth of sowing seeds, 
weeds, weather conditions, conser- 
vation of moisture, etc. 

We are glad to be able to say that 

our garden venture in 1915 was quite 
successful, as shown by the exhibition 
held early in September. The best 
samples of vegetables and flowers 
produced in the garden were placed 
on exhibition in the class rooms. 
These were judged and prizes award- 
ed for the best exhibits. Vegetables 
and flowers produced in the com- 
munity gardens were sold and the 
proceeds donated by the pupils to 
the Saskatchewan hospital unit. 

Before freezing up our garden was 
again well manured and ploughed, 
and the pupils are looking forward 
with hope and pleasure to the coming 



THE last was the first year dur- 
ing which the special Gov- 
ernment grants in aid of in- 
struction on science, agriculture and 
gardening have been m effect. For 

JAS. C. MILLER. B.Sa, Ph.D. 
Director of Technical Education for Alberta 

three summers, courses in those sub- 
jects have been offered at the sum- 
mer school for teachers to enable 
them to qualify to carry on the work 
successfully and thereby earn for 

themselves and their school board 
the grant allotted for this work. 
About four hundred teachers have 
completed one summer's work in 
agriculture and gardening and one 
hundred the two summers' work in 
agriculture and gardening. Seventy- 
five teachers have now completed 
the two summers' work in nature 
study, agriculture and gardening re- 
quired to secure the special certificate 
in elementary science, which a teach- 
er must hold to be eligible for the 
special grant. Thirty-five teachers 
responsible for instruction in science 
and agriculture m high schools have 
completed one summer's work in the 
special courses in these subjects or- 
ganized especially for them. 

_ That the value and importance of 
giving practical instruction in agri- 
culture and gardening with a scien- 
tific basis in the public and high 
schools are being realized by the pub- 
lic is shown clearly by the extent to 
which local districts have undertaken 
the work and the number of districts 
preparing ground for the introduc- 
tion of practical gardening this year. 
Not only the rural schools but also 
many of the town and city schools 

Gardening Operations 


made a very creditable beginning 
last year. Three of the city schools 
in Edmonton, one of the schools in 
Lethbridge, the schools in Camrose, 
Ponoka, Weta^kiwin, Olds, Stettler, 
Wainwright, Coaldale and Blairmore 
have made good progress. Some 
work is being done in at least one 
hundred of the rural schools. In 
several the work is of a distinctly 
superior character. 


As agriculture is an examination 
subject in Grade VIII and again in 
Grade XI, and as emphasis is placed 
upon the practical phases of the work 
in nature study which precedes the 
agriculture of Grade VIII and the 

work in botany, zoology and physics 
which precedes the agriculture for 
Grade XI, when the practical gar- 
dening is undertaken in the village 
and town schools, the usual practice 
has been to include the whole school, 
including the teachers themselves in 
the garden plan. Quite properly the 
upper grades, high school students 
and teachers, utilize their plots for 
experimenting, testing and demon- 
stration work, while the lower grades 
give their attention to methods of 
cultivation and becoming familiar 
at first hand with the varieties of 
vegetables, flowers, vines and shrubs 
that can be grown successfully in 
this district and the varying methods 
of cultivating and caring for them. 

Showing plots of pupils and teachers of the Public and High Schools. A splendid example of what can be 

done in town districts 


IN the city of Edmonton an effort 
was made at three of the city 
schools to carry on school gar- 
den work. In each case it was a 
woman teacher who assumed the 
chief responsibility and in two cases 
it was the primary teacher. All three 
teachers, Miss Cuming, Miss Good- 

man and Miss Bell, have been stu- 
dents at the summer school for 
teachers. The most successful as 
well as the most extensive garden 
was at the Highlands school. Its suc- 
cess is largely due to the untiring 
energy and effective leadership of 
Miss Elizabeth Cuming, who was 


The School Garden 

assisted by the active co-operation of 
the other teachers on the staff, es- 
pecially the principal, Mr. Davis, 
and Miss Laughlin, another teacher 
who has had the advantage of in- 
struction in agriculture and garden- 
i ng at the summer school. 

The superintendent of schools, Mr. 
W. G. Carpenter, gave the teachers 
every support and encouragement. 

The school grounds not being 
available on account of building op- 
erations going on, vacant land across 

fence line with a three-foot pathway 
inside and adjacent to this border. 
The ground thus enclosed was divid- 
ed into plots 4 by 10 feet with a 
two-foot path between them. In the 
centre of the plot of ground was an 
old basement filled with roots and 
manure and covered with water and 
matted slough grass. After much 
labour this was fixed into the most 
interesting and ornamental spot in 
the whole garden — water, rockery 
and flower garden effects. The flow- 

Sunflower borders are used as protection against the wind 

the street from the school owned by 
Mr. W. J. McGrath, was placed at 
the disposal of the school for garden 
purposes. The year before the 
ground had been broken and partially 
cleared and planted in potatoes. 
Early in the spring it was ploughed 
and disced and the boys of Grades 
VII and VIII cleared away the re- 
mainder of the brush and stumps. 

The general plan provided for a 
two-foot grass border around the 

ers planted were dwarf nasturtiums, 
golden glow, larkspur, columbine, 
sweet William, pinks, spireas, dah- 
lias, petunias, pansies, poppies, stocks, 
snapdragon. For borders alyssum, 
verbena and lobelia were used. 

The general plan of the garden 
being laid out, and each pupil, with 
the exception of those in Grade I, 
having made and drawn the plan for 
his or her own garden plot, the gar- 
den was prepared and planted. Each 

Gardening Operations 


child planted six rows of vegetables 
and the remainder of the plot in 
flowers. In Grade I each child was 
responsible for only half of one of the 
standard plots. 

Some experimental plots were ar- 
ranged for the senior class, involving 
various tests for seed in relation to 
growth and condition (a) large and 
small, (b) frosted and normal, (c) 
whole and broken, (d) deep and 
shallow sowing, (e) thick and thin 

The summer house or garden bower 
was made with linoleum poles given 


The pupil gardeners are beside the plot for testing 

quality and vitality of wheat set- I 

by the Hudson's Bay Company. 
Around it were planted canary bird 
vine, hops, tall nasturtiums, African 
pipe gourd and runner beans. 

The ladies of the Highland's Im- 
provement Society, of which Miss 
Cuming is a member, provided suffi- 
cient funds to secure two prizes for 
each room, a first for the boys and a 
first for the girls. Committees were 
appointed to take turns in visiting 
the garden and co-operating with the 

children in keeping it up to standard, 
especially during vacation. 

At the close of the garden season 
a special day was arranged to which 
the parents, members of the school 
board and officials from the Depart- 
ment of Education were invited. 


The most successful town school 
garden was the one in Taber, a town 
near the city of Lethbridge and in 
the dry farming belt. 

No fewer than five of the teachers 
on the staff have attended the sum- 
mer school for teachers one or more 
summers. The principal, Mr. Lynd, 
was one of the thirty-five high 
school teachers to take advantage of 
the courses offered last summer. 

In their efforts to develop instruc- 
tion and practical work the school 
board were helped greatly by the ac- 
tive interest and support of the 
Women's Institute and the Agricul- 
tural Society. The two acres of 
ground adjacent to the school used 
for the garden were placed at the 
service of the school board by the 
Hon. A. J. McLean. Early in the 
spring this land was cleared, ploughed 
and thoroughly cultivated, no less 
than twenty loads of manure being 
worked into the soil. A small water 
tank was installed at the end of the 
garden in an elevated position so 
that hose could be used in watering. 
The school board provided funds for 
equipment, initial clearing and cul- 
tivating and the water tank. The 
Agricultural Society and the Women's 
Institute provided seed and money 
for prizes. Superintendent Fairfield 
of the Dominion Experimental Farm 
at Lethbridge assisted by supplying 
special seed potatoes for about twen- 
ty boys who undertook to demon- 
strate this production. 

In judging, the following system of 
rating was used: 

Arrangements 15 points. 

Cultivation 25 " 

Freedom from weeds 20 " 

Vigour, Maturity and general 
^effect 40 


The School Garden 

Mr. Lynd in writing of what may 
be spoken of as the school side of the 
work says: 

"We arranged the plots — over 250 
in all — as recommended by Dean 
Howes at the summer school. The 
rows were three feet apart and the 
plots within the row 2 ft. apart. The 
size of the plots was 4 by 10 feet. 
The rows were lettered and the plots 
numbered — G. 8 would be plot 8 in 
row G. If the number indicated the 
township the letter indicated the 
range. Each pupil of the upper grades 
had a plot. Some of the high school 

side was sown more thickly than the 
south side. The only observable dif- 
ference made by the fertilizer was in 
the case of the peas, where the soil 
without artificial fertilizer grew larger 
vines than did the soil treated with 
potash. The south side of the plot 
was sown at the rate of a pea to every 
inch. The latter grew just as large 
as the former and appeared to pro- 
tect each other more. The grains 
dealt with in this manner were flax, 
corn, small oats, large wheat, small 
grained wheat, alfalfa and millet. 
"The pleasure and profitable ex- 

Showing plots of the pupils ot Grades I to XI, inclusivo 

pupils had two plots each, one for 
vegetables and one for flowers. In 
addition to these individual plots 
larger spaces 12 by 12 feet were 
allotted for vines. 

"In the high school plots we ex- 
perimented with three fertilizers to 
test the need of the soil for nitrogen, 
potash agd phosphorus. In the 
same plots we also tested thick and 
thin sowing, e.g., the east and west 
halves of a plot were treated with 
different fertilizers while the north 

p«rience of the community, children 
and teachers in the work this year 
will lead to even better results next 
year. As there is land to spare it is 
planned to make arrangements with 
the Dominion Experimental Farm 
to have a small demonstration unit 
and to do considerable in planting 
trees and shrubbery. If the plans of 
those interested are fully realized the 
school garden grounds will become 
the beauty spot and an inspiration to 
the children and community."